Paying for College

Plan Effectively to Pay for College

It’s never too early to begin planning for college, and it’s never too late to seek additional advice. The ACT Foundation encourages you to discuss your options with your parents, your guidance counselor, your college financial aid office and others. The internet also has a wealth of information available to walk you through the planning, application, financial aid and admission processes.

The following sites might aid in your research:

Wall Street Journal article: Do Elite Colleges Lead to Higher Salaries? Only for Some Professions

Best Colleges
In addition to providing college rankings, this site offers financial aid planning advice.

Big Future by the College Board
Be sure to review this site’s “Make a Plan” and “Pay for College” sections.

CheapScholar provides some good advice on paying for college as well as some good tips to help keep costs down while in college.

College Affordability Guide: How to Pay for College
This page offers a comprehensive guide to financial aid, including federal aid, public and private loans, grants, payment plans and more. Peruse the rest of the site for ideas on what makes a college "affordable." Student Loans and Debt Management
This page offers concise but comprehensive advice for young adults on paying for college, understanding loan options, student loan repayment programs, and student loan debt management.

Federal Student Aid Office
This Department of Education site provides a checklist on how to prepare for college at each stage of a student’s academic career, as well as a handy map of the financial aid process.

Guide to the FAFSA
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is critical to qualifying for both federal and private financial aid, as well as many scholarships. The FAFSA guide answers some common questions when completing the form.

Mapping Your Future
The site offers a checklist on preparing for college and beyond, with a clear view in planning for the financial implications of higher education.

See also Other Scholarships for scholarship resources. For general money and budgeting advice, see Financial Wellness.

Please note that the ACT Foundation does not control, nor does it necessarily endorse, the content or privacy policies of the outside sites linked above.

Did You Know?

Student loan debt in the U.S. totals $1.2 trillion. Two-thirds of student borrowers carry $10,000 or more in debt, and the average borrower graduates $26,000 in the red.

Our Impact

"Your support has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders for the upcoming school year. . . This award will allow me to continue my education with a university that has just started feeling like a new home."

– Megan Anders, ACT Foundation Scholarship Recipient