Top 5 Ways to Pay for College N.C. Families May Not Know

New Changes Make It Easier for North Carolinians to Qualify for Loans from your State Nonprofit Lender
Raleigh, N.C. - (April 1, 2019) As college acceptance letters roll in, local families are scrambling to figure out how to pay for college. NC Assist Loans, a new non-profit, state-funded loan program, has just made it easier to qualify, giving North Carolina students the ability to pay for their dream schools. Many families are not aware of these Top 5 Ways to pay for college, and it is important to know that the NC Assist Loan may be available to bridge the gap if they come up short.

1) NC Assist Loans
Some families are reluctant to explore loans, but they're sometimes necessary to pay for college. After you complete the FAFSA, you will see which federal student loans are available to you. After those are exhausted, it's important to look at other options.

NC Assist Loans provide students and parents alternative education loans to fund college, and with a slightly more relaxed credit requirement, it's easier than ever to qualify! NC Assist Loans are designed to offer competitive rates in comparison to Federal Direct Loans and do not charge any fees for students and parents.

"Many North Carolina families feel an immense responsibility to pay for their children's education, but that's not always possible," says Wendy McAlister, President of College Foundation, Inc. (CFI). "As your state nonprofit lender, we strive to provide a way to bridge the gap for families who may come up short after exploring other sources of financial aid. NC Assist loans don't require application or origination fees and offer competitive fixed interest rates. Our goal is to ensure that North Carolina students and families have the resources needed to pay for college."

2) Grants
Grants are a type of financial aid that you do not have to pay back! There are federal grants and several state grant programs. In North Carolina, filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) will determine your eligibility to receive this free money. Filling out the FAFSA is always the first step to paying for college!

3) Scholarships
Scholarships come in all shapes and sizes. There are both one-time and renewable scholarships. Some scholarships are awarded based on need, and some are based on grades, talent, or a special interest. It may take some extra time to write the scholarship essays, but ultimately, this is an excellent option to help fund your education. Scholarships can be for anything from aspiring to be a nurse, volunteering in your community, having Scottish descent, tied to your intended institution or a host of other things. The College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) has many North Carolina specific scholarships on their website.

4) Work Study/Part-time Job
You will know whether you are eligible for work-study programs after filling out the FAFSA. These opportunities are jobs on campus, and they range from helping with athletics to working in the library to tutoring. A part-time job like working in the bookstore or at a coffee shop is also an option to help with college costs.

5) Tax Savings
Don't forget that parents can claim up to $2,500 per eligible student, per year, on your taxes. Be sure to talk with your tax professional to learn more about tax credits and deductions related to qualified higher education expenses. And of course, you can also use your tax refund to help pay for college costs.

As families realize the cost of college and begin planning, we urge you to please help us tell this important, helpful story!
  • Have our local state experts come to your newsroom to share the Top 5 Ways to Pay for College that many families don't know.
  • Have our local state experts explain what the financial aid award letter is and how to interpret it with examples.

About College Foundation, Inc.

College Foundation, Inc. (CFI), a nonprofit corporation serving North Carolina students and families since 1955, administers a large portfolio of education loans, several major grant and scholarship programs for students attending N.C. colleges and universities, and the tax-advantaged "529" college savings program on behalf of the N.C. State Education Assistance Authority. CFI also delivers information to North Carolina students and families about paying for college, assists colleges and universities with state residency determination and financial aid services, and provides technology support and outreach for CFNC.org.