by NEA Member Benefits

Deciding How to Pay for College

Find out how to research college financing options so you can determine what’s right for you.

Once you’ve decided which college you want to attend, you’ll need to figure out which route you’ll take to secure financing. Let’s take a tour of some options.

The first stop on your itinerary should be researching scholarships for college students as well as grants for college, including Pell Grants, which are federally subsidized grants for students who have financial need and meet certain requirements. This is a good place to start because it’s free money that doesn’t have to be repaid.

From there, you may decide you need to get student loan help. There are different types of student loans, but the first place to start is at the bedrock of student financial aid—the federal student loans called the Stafford and Perkins loans. Figure out which one carves a better future for your chosen profession—and which ones offer maximum loan forgiveness.

The final destination on your financing tour should be private student loans. The options are vast, but they typically are not eligible for loan forgiveness, so private loans should be used carefully to bridge any gaps in financing.

In partnership with College Ave Student Loans, we offer NEA members access to several types of private student loans, with specially negotiated terms, that can help you or your loved one get the funds needed to achieve your education goals.

Whatever type of loan you decide on, assess your capacity. Bigger isn’t always better. Consider your expected salary before you take the plunge.

You can find tips and solutions on paying for college at our College Loans resource page and see how your NEA member benefits can help you on your education journey.

One of our private student loans could help you bridge your financing gap