Financing Your Education - Iowa College Access Network - ICAN

Financing Your Education

College is an investment in your future, whether you use your degree to obtain a higher-paying job or to fulfill a lifelong desire. If you don't have the savings to pay for your entire education, many options are available.

Besides traditional financial aid, adult learners may be eligible for additional programs.

Scholarships and grants. Colleges, private companies and government agencies offer aid in the form of scholarships and grants, and some may be open to only returning or adult students. Scholarships and grants are a great resource because the funds do not need to repaid. Find scholarships.

Employer tuition reimbursement. Your current employer might have a program to pay for part or all of your education expenses. Meet with your human resources office to discuss requirements and benefits.

Grad PLUS loans. Loans should be used only when there's no other way to pay for your expenses. All loans must be repaid with interest. Generally, federal loans like the Grad PLUS offer lower interest rates and better terms than private loans.

Grad PLUS loans are available only to graduate or professional students.

Qualifying for Aid

To qualify for federal or state aid, you must fill out and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is a free form that may be completed without professional assistance via paper or electronic forms provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Colleges also use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for school scholarships and aid.

You don't need professional assistance to fill out or file the FAFSA, but the form can be confusing. If you need help, contact ICAN for assistance without charge.

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