How to Pay for College?

There are a lot of options when it comes to paying for a post-secondary education, see some of your options here.

College is expensive but the cost of an education shouldn't deter you from pursuing your dreams.  There are many different options available to students to help them pay for college. Depending on the payment method it may come from: the institution you will be attending; local, state, or national organizations; banks; personal saving; or the government.  Everyone qualifies for federal loan options regardless of family income.  This process starts with the FAFSA application. Remember that your ACCESS Advisor is here to help, if you or your parents have any questions be sure to talk with your school's advisor


Payment Options



Awarded based on merit and sometimes need; does not have to be repaid.

  1. Best Resources-School Counselor/ACCESS Advisor

  2. The institution you plan to attend may have need and merit based scholarships available. Contact Admission and/or Financial Aid Office






Aid that must be repaid in full plus interest.

  1. Federal Perkins Loan - Federal Funds Administered by Institution.

  2. Direct Subsidized Loan - Federal Loan; Interest is typically deferred while student is in school.

  3. Direct Unsubsidized Loans - Federal Loan; Interest is not deferred while student is in school.

  4. Direct (Parent) PLUS Loan - Federal Loan for parents of dependent students.  

*If your parents cannot obtain a PLUS loan, you may be eligible to borrow additional Unsubsidized Stafford loan funds.



Aid that does not have to be repaid; typically based on demonstrated financial need.

  1. Federal Pell Grant-Federal funds

  2. Institutional Grants-Awarded by individual colleges

Employment Programs


Money earned  through employment; paid directly to school or to you.

  1. Federal Work-Study (Federal work program ad   ministered to the school - need based.)

  2. Regular Student Employment - non-need based employment on or off campus.

  3. Co-op/Internship Programs

  4. Military Service

Additional Options


  1. Military Service

  2. Payment Plans, School Loans, Private Education Loans

  3. Personal or Family Savings including U.S. Savings Bond Plans or 529 Savings Programs


Information Required for FAFSA

Complete the FAFSA at to apply for federal, state and college-based financial aid

Required information: (Applying for 2018=2019 Academic Year)

  • Student and parent 2016 Federal Income Tax Forms and, if applicable, Schedule K-1 (Form 1065)

  • Student and parent 2016 W-2 Forms

  • Student’s driver’s license number

  • Student and parent email address (Must have two separate email accounts)

  • Social Security Numbers

  • Birth dates

  • Date parents were married, separated, divorced or widowed

  • Current cash/savings/checking account balances

  • Current business value

  • Current value of investment farm and/or rental properties

  • 2015 Child support paid or received

  • 2015 Housing/food/living allowance for military and clergy

  • Veteran’s non-education benefits

  • Student Alien Registration Number/USCIS Number for eligible non-citizens

  1. Everyone qualifies for the federal loan options through FAFSA, regardless of your family income. Apply to see what else you are eligible for! 

  2. Completing the FAFSA is noncommittal. Once you apply you then have the option of choosing what portion, if not all, you want to accept. It’s better to have it and choose not to use it, than to need it and not have it.

  3. Many institutions will not prepare an award letter/financial aid package without being accepted into the institution and completing the FAFSA.

  4. Some scholarships require your FAFSA information as part of their scholarship application.

Important Notes about the FAFSA


Do you really need your parents information to fill out the FAFSA?

Answer "Yes" or "No" to the following questions to determine if parental data is needed on your FAFSA.


  1. Were you born before January 1, 1995?

  2. Are you married?

  3. Will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year?

  4. Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or currently serving on active duty?

  5. Do you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you?

  6. At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in

  7. foster care, or were you a dependent or ward of the court?

  8. Are you or were you an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?

  9. Are you or were you in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?

  10. At any time on or after July 1, 2017, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?

  11. At any time on or after July 1, 2017, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?


If you answer “no” to every question, you are dependent and must provide parental information on the FAFSA.


If you answer “yes” to any question, you are independent and should not include parental information on the FAFSA.


FSA Account ID

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Go to FAFSA.GOV and click on the link to create an FSA ID.

Create a username and password and enter your email address.

Enter your name, date of birth, Social Security number, contact information and challenge questions and answers.

If you have a Federal Student Aid PIN, you will be able to enter it and link it to your FSA ID. You can still create an FSA ID if you have forgotten or do not have a PIN.

Review your information, read and accept the terms and conditions.

Confirm your email address using the secure code, which will be sent to the email address you entered when you created your FSA ID. Once you verify your email address, you can use it instead of your username to log in to the websites.

What is my FSA ID?


The FSA ID ― a username and password ― has replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN and must be used to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID confirms your identity when you access your financial aid information and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you can create one when logging in to