5 Ways to Finance Your Higher Education with EverFi

The Cost of Higher Education

College Tuition

One of the biggest challenges facing students who wish to pursue higher education is the cost. College tuition and other related expenses such as textbooks and housing have skyrocketed in recent years, making it increasingly difficult for students to afford an education. As a result, many students are turning to financial aid and loans to help pay for their education.

According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees alone at public four-year colleges has increased by over 200% since 1995. For private four-year colleges, that number is even higher at over 160%. In addition to tuition costs, students also face expenses such as room and board, textbooks, and transportation. These costs can add up quickly, making it difficult for students to focus on their studies.

One of the contributing factors to the rising cost of higher education is the decrease in state funding for colleges and universities. Public institutions rely heavily on state funding to keep tuition costs low, but in recent years, state funding has been decreasing. This puts pressure on colleges and universities to raise tuition costs in order to cover their expenses.

Another factor is the rising cost of living expenses. As the cost of living increases, so do the costs associated with attending college. Housing, food, and transportation have all become more expensive in recent years, which means that students are paying more for these essential expenses than in the past.

There are a few ways that students can try to combat the rising cost of higher education. One option is to consider attending a community college for the first two years of their education before transferring to a four-year institution. Community colleges typically have lower tuition costs, which can help students save money while they complete their general education requirements. Another option is to apply for grants and scholarships. Many organizations offer financial assistance to students who meet certain criteria, such as academic achievement or financial need.

Finally, students should also consider taking out loans to help pay for their education. There are many different types of loans available to students, including federal student loans, private student loans, and personal loans. Federal student loans typically have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment terms than private student loans, making them a better option for many borrowers.

Overall, the cost of higher education is a significant barrier for many students who want to pursue their dreams of obtaining a college degree. However, by exploring different financial aid options and being proactive in managing their expenses, students can overcome these challenges and achieve their academic goals.

Types of Financial Aid Available

Types of Financial Aid Available

Higher education can be an expensive undertaking, and not everyone has the resources to pay for it upfront. Most of us need financial aid to secure our future and pursue the career we want. Financial aid for college is monetary assistance provided to students who need it. The financial aid can come from various sources, including the federal government, state government, colleges, and private organizations. Here are the types of financial aid available to support higher education expenses:

1. Grants:


Grants are a type of financial aid that is awarded to the students based on their financial need. It is free money, which means the students don't have to repay it. Grants are available from the federal government, state government, colleges, and private organizations. The Pell Grant program is the most common type of grant, which is awarded to undergraduate students who meet the eligibility criteria. The amount of the grant is determined based on the student's financial need, the cost of attendance, and the expected family contribution.

2. Scholarships:


Scholarships are a type of financial aid that is awarded to students based on their academic performance, athletic ability, community service, or other criteria. The scholarship money is also free, and students don't have to pay it back. Scholarships are awarded by the federal government, state government, colleges, and private organizations. There are scholarships for almost every category, including minorities, women, veterans, and people with disabilities. Some of the scholarships are renewable, which means the students can continue to receive it for a particular period if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Students can search for scholarships using various websites and databases such as chegg, unigo, fastweb, and cappex.

3. Work-Study Programs:

Work-Study Programs

Work-study programs are a type of financial aid that allows students to work part-time while attending school. The program is available to students who demonstrate financial need. Work-study programs provide students with valuable work experience and help them cover the cost of attendance. Students work on campus or off-campus, and the pay is at least the federal minimum wage, and sometimes they get paid more based on the job role.

4. Federal Loans:

Federal Loans

Federal loans are a type of financial aid offered by the government to help students pay for their education. There are two types of federal loans available, subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are made to students who demonstrate financial need, and the government pays the interest while the student is in college. Unsubsidized loans are available to all students, regardless of their financial need, but the students are responsible for paying the interest while they are in school. The interest rates for federal student loans are usually lower than the interest rates for private student loans. After graduation, students have to repay the loan amount with interest.

5. Private Loans:

Private Loans

Private loans are a type of financial aid offered by private lenders to help students pay for their education. Unlike federal loans, private loans are based on the student's credit score and his/her income. The interest rates for private student loans are usually higher than the interest rates for federal student loans. Students should explore all other financial aid options before considering a private loan as it can be very difficult to pay off the high-interest rate.

In conclusion, higher education is essential to succeed in a career, but it comes at a high cost. Financial aid can reduce the burden of costly education expenses. Students should explore all the options available to them before making any financial decisions. The financial aid package may vary depending on the student's eligibility criteria, the type of college, and other factors.

Strategies for financing higher education

Strategies for financing higher education

Higher education is an expensive investment that many individuals may not be able to cover upfront, especially considering the continuously rising cost. However, there are several strategies that anyone can use to finance their higher education without breaking the bank. Here are some of the most effective ways of financing higher education:

Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships and grants are free money for education that can help reduce the financial burden of going to school. Scholarships are generally merit-based, while grants are need-based. There are various sources of scholarships and grants that individuals can use to finance their education, including government agencies, colleges and universities, private organizations, and corporations. The key to getting a scholarship or grant is to do thorough research, apply early, and meet all eligibility requirements.

Work-Study Programs

Work-Study Programs

Work-study programs are part-time employment opportunities that allow students to earn money while studying. These programs are usually funded by the federal government and are available to students who demonstrate financial need. The earnings can then be used to cover tuition fees, textbooks, and other educational expenses. Part-time work-study jobs may be available on-campus or off-campus, depending on the school. The benefit of work-study programs is that they allow students to build their resumes and gain work experience while earning money for education.

Employer Tuition Assistance

Employer Tuition Assistance

Employer tuition assistance is a benefit offered by some employers to help pay for their employees' education. This benefit may be in the form of partial or full tuition reimbursement, which means that the employer will pay for some or all of the employee's education expenses. To qualify for this benefit, employees must typically remain employed with the company for a certain period of time and meet other eligibility requirements. Employer tuition assistance is an excellent way to earn a higher education degree without worrying about hefty student loans.

Student Loans

Student Loans

Student loans are financial aid that is borrowed and must be paid back with interest. There are two types of student loans: federal and private. Federal student loans are offered by the government and typically have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options than private student loans. Private student loans are offered by banks and other private lending institutions and have more strict eligibility requirements and higher interest rates than federal student loans. It is essential to exhaust all scholarship and grant options before taking out student loans to keep the cost of higher education manageable.

Personal Savings and Family Contributions

Personal Savings and Family Contributions

Using personal savings and family contributions is another way of financing higher education. It may involve using savings from a part-time job or dipping into a 529 college savings plan. Family contributions may include gifts, grants, or loans. It is crucial to have an honest discussion with family members about any possible contributions to minimize misunderstandings. However, using personal savings and family contributions should be a supplement to other financing options, not a primary one.

Financing higher education can be a daunting task, but with the right strategies, it can be manageable. It is crucial to research and explore all financing options to find the best fit. Working with a financial aid advisor can also provide guidance and uncover additional funding resources.

The Impact of Student Debt

student debt impact

Financing higher education can be a daunting task for many students and families. As the cost of tuition continues to rise, students are left with limited options to cover their fees. Student debt has become a significant concern and has a significant impact on students' lives after graduation. Here are some of the ways that student debt is affecting students and the economy.

Delayed Career and Homeownership

People grappling with student debt are postponing their life milestones. The repayment of the loan can take up to two decades, affecting their financial lives years after graduation. It can limit job choices, leading students to postpone their career. They might accept positions that pay less, just to keep up with the loan payments. Homeownership plans are also deferred as a result of the student debt. Many young people have difficulties maintaining credit scores since they can't afford to invest in a deposit or down payment on a house. This is because 22% of young workers (ages 18 to 24) have had to defer saving for a down payment due to their student loans.

Decreased Retirement Savings

Due to the need to repay their loans immediately, students are often unable to allocate money to their retirement savings. It's essential to start saving for retirement as soon as possible since interest can compound over time. A report from the National Institute on Retirement Security indicates that 66% of millennials have nothing saved for their retirement.

Reduced Consumer Spending

Students burdened with student loans often have little disposable income. As a result, they do not contribute to consumer spending, a factor that can impact the nation's economy. This trend is particularly noticeable among the nation's young. While the older generation was able to purchase houses and invest, the current generation is putting a higher percentage of income into loan repayment, a point made by a report from the New York Federal Reserve.

Mental Health Concerns

Financial stresses can have severe effects on a person's mental health. Anxiety, depression, and stress are prevalent among students dealing with significant debt. A study conducted by The Student Loan Hero states that 43% of student borrowers mentioned feeling depressed because of their loan payments.


The effects of student debt are visible on individuals and the economy. Paying student loans impacts the savings, livelihood, career choices and contributes to decreased consumer spending, which can have a severe impact on the economy. As students take out loans to fund their education, the obligation to repay them starts afresh after graduation, affecting their ability to fund essential life milestones and retirement. As a result, academic institutions must work towards providing affordable education to avoid placing undue financial strain on students.

Planning for Student Loan Repayment

Planning for Student Loan Repayment

Student loan repayment can be a daunting task for many individuals who have completed their higher education. However, it is one of the most crucial parts of financing higher education. Planning for student loan repayment should start as soon as you receive your first set of funds because it can have a big impact on your financial future. Here are some ways to help you plan for student loan repayment effectively:

1. Understand your Loans:

Before you start planning for student loan repayment, it's crucial that you understand the types of loans you have borrowed. Make sure you know the exact amount you owe, the type of interest rates you’re paying on the loan, and the loan servicer that will manage your loans. Understanding these factors will help you create a realistic repayment plan and consolidate your loans if needed.

2. Choose the Right Repayment Plan:

There are several repayment options available for student loans. Standard, income-driven, and extended repayment plans are the most popular options. Standard repayment plans offer fixed monthly payments, while income-driven repayment plans allow you to pay a percentage of your income towards your loans. Extended repayment plans give you a longer timeframe to repay the loan amount. Choose the repayment plan that suits your financial needs and budget.

3. Create a Budget:

Creating a budget can help you keep track of your expenses and ensure you allocate enough money towards loan repayment each month. Make a list of all your monthly expenses, including rent, bills, groceries, and entertainment. Deduct the total from your income to determine how much you can afford to pay towards your loans. Prioritize loan repayment and make it a part of your monthly budget.

4. Consider Consolidation or Refinancing:

If you have several loans from different lenders, it may be helpful to consolidate or refinance them. Consolidation allows you to combine multiple loans into one, which makes it easier to manage your loans and ensure timely payments. Refinancing involves taking out a new loan with better interest rates to pay off your previous loan. Consolidation and refinancing can help you save money on interest rates and make your loan repayment process more manageable.

5. Utilize Repayment Assistance Programs:

There are several repayment assistance programs available that can help you with student loan repayment. Some employers offer student loan repayment benefits to attract and retain employees. Government programs like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) can help reduce or eliminate your loan balance if you work in a qualifying public service position. Explore all options available to you and choose the one that can minimize your loan burden and help you repay your loans faster.

Planning for student loan repayment may seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. With careful planning and consideration, you can create an effective repayment plan that suits your financial needs and budget. Remember to stay disciplined and committed throughout the repayment process and seek professional advice if needed. With patience and perseverance, you can successfully pay off your student loans and achieve financial freedom.

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