Give it the Ol' College Try: Why Finding Financial Aid is Important

posted 5/13/2014 in General

The cost of a college education is rising, making financial aid you don’t have to pay back more critical

For all of our customers with kids who have already graduated or will be graduating from high school this month, we offer our congratulations. This is a huge step in your child’s life, and we are proud you have made Lincoln Savings Bank a part of it. Next comes college, and with it an influx of additional costs.

In the United States, college costs have been rising by about 7 percent per year for decades. The college education inflation rate has risen nearly 500 percent since 1985, while the overall consumer price index has risen 115 percent. Let’s put that in perspective:

  • If the cost of college in 1986 was $10,000, it would be $21,500 today going by the consumer price index.

  • However, because college education costs have inflated far more, that $10,000 education in 1986 now costs over 2.5 times the inflation rate, or $59,800.

With a higher price tag on college education, the student loan market is increasing rapidly, as is the amount of student loan debt. Student loan debt in the U.S. currently stands at $1.1 TRILLION. This makes finding financial aid – grants, scholarships, etc. – that doesn’t come with a repayment period and interest rate even more crucial. Here are a few tips for you and your soon-to-be college student.

FAFSA- by this point you should have already filed your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. This will help determine to what degree your student is eligible for financial aid.

Fastweb- search through college scholarship opportunities based on your age, intended area of study and college.

Work-study- this is a program that allows your child to earn money through an on or off-campus job at their institution.

Getting a job outside of work-study- depending on your location, this could be a better option, as work-study only requires minimum wage, whereas outside jobs may pay more. Encourage your student to start looking for jobs around their campus so they can hit the ground running.

It is also imperative that if they don’t currently have a job for the summer leading up to college that they get one. Gas, food and all the tiny costs add up quickly, so they will want to have some money built up before arriving on campus in the fall.

If your grad needs to rely on student loans to help cover some of the expenses of college, Lincoln Savings Bank works with Iowa Student Loan® to offer supplemental private student loans.  Visit our Student Loan page at www.mylsb.com.

A college education may seem like an insurmountable cost, but the benefits of having a college education have been proven over and over again. If there’s any way Lincoln Savings Bank can help with your child’s education, please don’t hesitate to come see us today. We hope to see you soon!

Lincoln Savings Bank, Member FDIC

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