For Black Colleges:
All About Student Loans and Grants
By John Mussi
College and other schooling beyond that offered by public school systems can be quite expensive. In many cases, parents and students will need some form of assistance to help them make ends meet and pay tuition and other costs… preferably without creating more bills that need to be paid while attempting to finish school. Some students will receive scholarships that will cover all or part of their cost, but the students that don't receive these scholarships still deserve a chance to go to the school of their choice.
Luckily, a variety of different student loans and grants exist that are designed specifically to pay for schooling and the costs associated with it.
The Difference Between Loans and Grants
Of course, student loans and grants aren't exactly the same thing. A student loan is a specific type of loan that's designed for those seeking to further their education but are unable to afford to pay for it on their own. A grant, however, is a specific sum that is given to the individual in much the same manner but doesn't require repayment. Obviously, grants require more consideration and aren't given as often as loans, and are often based upon financial need.
Student loans are granted by a variety of lending institutions and may or may not be backed by government funding, whereas most grants are issued by government branches though there are some grants that are offered either by school departments or private businesses or organizations.
Advantages of Student Loans
In addition to simply providing the money that students need to complete their education, student loans have some specific advantages that make them useful in paying for tuition and other educational expenses. In most cases, loans don't have to be repaid until the student graduates… meaning that as the student takes out more loans as they work toward graduation, they won't have to be repaying the previous loans as well.
Once the student is no longer enrolled, then all of their loans become due and they can begin making payments on them at that point. This allows for students to borrow the money that they need, repaying all of it at a later date instead of having to start repayment right away.
Once repayment begins, many student loans also have lower interest rates or special rates that are designed specifically for students.
Finding and Applying for Student Loans
Finding student loans to apply for is generally a straightforward process, as many lenders offer some form of student loan. You should take the time to investigate lenders in your area and see what sort of student-specific loans they offer, comparing interest rates and other terms to make sure that they're the type of loan that you're wanting to apply for. Loan application is pretty much like that of any other loan, but repayment will usually not start until after graduation.
Finding and Applying for Grants
Grants can be harder to find, and harder to get… but considering that they don't have to be repaid, they're well worth the effort. One of the best ways to find grants is to start by asking the school's financial aid office; they usually have listings of all of the grants that they accept, and can help you to find the ones that you might be able to get.
The application process tends to require letters of recommendation and essays on chosen topics, though it depends upon the specific grant and who is issuing it as to what is required for it.
John Mussi is the founder of Direct Online Loans who help homeowners find the best available loans via the www.directonlineloans.co.uk website.