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The cost of college is increasing rapidly, with the average price of a four-year public college rising more than 15 percent since 2008. Students that want to complete a college education must often take out hefty loans to pay for tuition, books, and associated expenses. Fortunately, there are various ways to get money for college when you need it. Here are some of the best places to get money for college.

Scholarships

More than a million scholarships are awarded each year based on a wide variety of factors, including athletic ability, academic merit, disability, race, nationality, religious affiliation, relation to a cancer victim, location, and many more. Nearly everyone should be able to find quite a few eligible scholarships to apply for using tools like FastWeb’s free scholarship search.

Federal Grants

Federal assistance grants are available to most students who have not already earned a bachelor’s degree. A Federal Pell Grant can be up to $5,550 for the award year, for up to 12 semesters of aid total. A Federal Supplement Educational Opportunity Grant range from $100 to $4,000 per year and are given on a first come, first served basis. The TEACH Grant provides up to $4,000 per year to students who sign an agreement to serve as a teacher in certain high-need fields or in low-income areas for at least four years.

Federal Loans

Many students choose federal loans to get money for college because many qualify for loan forgiveness after a decade of on time payments. The Federal Perkins Loan provides up to $5,500 per year for undergraduate students with a fixed interest rate of 5 percent. Direct federal loans allow independent graduate students to borrow up to $138,000 for their college education.

Federal Work-Study Program

The Federal Work-Study Program provides jobs to undergraduate and graduate students with financial need. This allows them to earn money to help pay for education-related expenses with employers that will be flexible and work around their class schedule as much as possible.

Employer Based Tuition Assistance

Many employers are now offering tuition assistance programs for their employees, their spouses, and their children to help offset the cost of a college education. Ask your employer if there are any programs offered and how to apply for them to get money for college. Every dollar you can secure without a loan is a dollar you will not have to repay with interest once you have graduated.

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