Funding 101:
How to pay for college

We all know college is expensive, but just how much should you be prepared to pay? When determining the true cost, take into consideration all of these variables:

Tution and fees Tuition and fees Food Food
Room and board Room and board Transportation Transportation
Textbooks and supplies Textbooks and supplies Other expenses Other expenses


While you should definitely have a plan for personal financial resources, you may also need to consider scholarships and financial aid to help cover these costs.

Get help paying for college

All colleges or universities that award federal student aid require students to complete either a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or a College Scholarship Service (CSS) application.

Here's how it works:

  1. You submit a FAFSA or CSS application.
  2. Financial information that you provide is used to determine your Expected Family Contributions (EFC), or the amount the federal government feels your family can afford to pay for each year of college.
  3. The amount that is not covered by your EFC may be awarded to you by way of merit or financial aid. We recommend you start by gathering all the information on your assets and income. From here you can use an EFC calculator to look at your Expected Family Contribution for one year of attendance. You could also meet with your financial professional to get help estimating your EFC and determine whether it might change in the future, possibly making you eligible for additional aid.

529 college savings plans

Learn more about our tax-advantaged savings plans designed to help make your higher education dreams a reality.

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