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Aid Step 5: Use Private Aid Programs to Finance College

Step 5 Summarizes the Private Aid Programs
that are tailored for financing college. This type aid does not require any federal forms or college approval.
(you can learn more - links scroll to information below)
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Financial Aid Step 5:

Search Scholarships

About Scholarships:

Scholarships are available from many private and educational institutions. This type of financial aid does not have to be paid back.

There are 3 categories of scholarships:

  1. Institutional Scholarships:
    scholarships from the college to the student for achievement in athletic, academic, and extracurricular activities such as music, art and other.

    Many colleges likewise award scholarships for certain majors; i.e., academic achieved students majoring in mathematics. So complete a thorough research potential awards.

  2. Private Scholarships:
    generally from employers, religious and ethnic affiliations.

  3. Service Scholarships:
    national and community associations and the military . These scholarships are awarded in exchange for community or military service after your graduate.

Take note that many non-funded scholarships may be from your own local area — area businesses and associations.


Scholarship Search:

You need to start early to find all available scholarships. Check your field of study, ethnic background, social and religious affiliations, parent's employment, family club memberships, and local businesses and clubs.

Beware of potential scholarship scams. A general rule to follow is, "if they request money from you in order to get money", they are likely a scam:

detecting/reporting scholarship scams:

begin your scholarship search online


Scholarship Requirements:

Every program is different, so check early on what will be required and make sure you meet all deadlines.

The scholarship may require an essay, written exam, or some demonstration/document of your eligibility

Most scholarships (including athletic) will require a minimum GPA. Failure to maintain your GPA level could forfeit your award.

Most scholarship funds will be sent to the college directly on your behalf.

Scholarship essay editing resources:


Private Institutions:

Private organizations that offer scholarships or loans to members and their families who below to the organization

Institutions include churches, community groups, professional associations, hobby groups, and others.

use our scholarship search directory:
start your search here

Many businesses offer educational allowances to employees and their families — check with your parents' employee benefits department.

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Financial Aid Step 5:

About Private Student Loans

Many government programs and loans do not cover the full cost of education

So many students are turning to private student loans to make up the difference between total cost of school and any financial aid you may receive.

Private Student Loans are offered by financial institutions, educational institutions, and professional associations. They are not guaranteed by the government so the interest rate and origination costs may be higher.


The advantage of Private Student loans is that loan amounts are not tied to any federal or college limits —

You can borrow as much as you need up to the approved loan limit.

In addition, the funds can be used for any education-related expenses, including a new personal computer for school use.


Rates and origination costs are tied to the applicant's credit history.

The better your credit history (as a student and likely with a co-applicant such as your parent), the lower the rate and costs.

You need to consider the lending terms of private loans — borrowing money comes with fiscal responsibilities. Inability to follow repayment terms can affect your credit rating, making it more difficult to borrow in the future.

For information:
Private Student Loans: review eligibility requirements and benefits

SayStudent Private Student Loans

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Financial Aid Step 5:

About Home Equity Loans

Homeowners can use the equity value in their homes to pay for education.

Advantages include:

  1. you are not restricted by federal loan limits

  2. the funds can be used for any purpose — including auto transportation — as determined by the home equity owner

  3. funds can be borrowed as they are needed — not all at once under many other programs

  4. the home equity line can be available from year-to-year without submitting annual application and qualification forms

  5. interest rates for home equity lines can be as low as the Prime Rate

  6. the interest costs for borrowed funds may be deducted from your taxes if your qualify — see your tax advisor for further information


The home equity line of credit is the most popular type of home equity for college education.

The equity line allows parents to draw upon funds as needed for tuition, books, fees, living expenses and other miscellaneous expenses.

See our home equity module for information:
using your home equity to finance education


Use the Banker Line of Credit (BLOC) to manage your money and education expenses.

The BLOC has been designed to effectively pay education expenses with minimal borrowing costs. The programs works for applicants who have steady working income.

For a demonstration of the program:
see introduction and slide demo

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Loan Application

Financial Aid Steps

Private Student Loans