With our current economy, it is hard to pay for college and frustrating to search for affordable schools. U.S. News provided these factors for low-to-middle income students to consider when researching schools.
1. Low sticker price colleges. Community colleges and public universities in your community are usually priced less than private colleges and universities.
2. Meet full needs colleges. These types of schools promise to provide enough scholarships and grants to all regularly admitted students, to help them avoid debt. These colleges do not carry over this promise to international students or wait-listed students. Each school defines a students need differently. Schools may expect students to borrow a certain amount of money each year, or make a certain amount of money each year from summer or part-time jobs.
3. Need-blind colleges. These types of schools, like public colleges and universities, accept students based on their academic qualifications and not their need for financial aid. However, most public schools can’t afford to cover all the financial aid that their students need.
4. Colleges with high percentages of low-income students. Colleges who accept a majority of students receiving Pell Grants (usually meaning students coming from families earning below $45K a year) provide extra financial counseling and support.
5. No loan colleges. Some colleges promise no-loan packages, which offer bigger scholarships and earnings opportunities to students from low-and middle-income families. However, many students find they still may need to borrow to meet their expected family contributions which are determined by the FAFSA and schools.
6. Merit aid colleges. These schools will give out merit scholarships to students who raise the student body’s grade point or test score average, raise the competitiveness of an athletic team, or find a spot in the school band, for example.
7. Military academies. Students interested in the military won’t have to pay for school – but in return they are required to pay for their education by serving their country in the armed forces.
For more information on Financial Aid: