How to Pay for College More Americans than ever are going to college; in fact, over 33% of adults 25 years and older hold at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to only 4.6% in 1940. Coupled with that, college is more expensive than it’s ever been. An in-state public four-year degree costs about three times as much as it did 20 years ago, when adjusted for inflation.In this changed landscape, it’s more important than ever for students and families to make careful decisions about how to fund an education.Before even deciding on a school, it’s critical that you educate yourself on your options and understand the effects of the choices you make now on your debt load after graduation. That’s where Purefy can help. Learn More Learn How to Pay for College When it comes to paying for college, many people just don’t know where to start. That’s why Purefy developed How to Pay for College – The Definitive Guide, an all-encompassing 13-page eBook to help get you started on the path to your college degree. Email* Go In-Depth with Purefy's Expert Guides Topics All Planning for College Essential Financial Aid Federal Student Loans Private Student Loans Graduate and Professional Loans College Life & Money Management Planning for College Costs Read More Debt-to-Income Ratio: What Students Need to Know Ben Luthi May 4, 2022 Saving for College: Why Every Bit Counts dori-zinn February 17, 2020 How to Talk to Your Parents About Paying for College Kat Tretina February 10, 2020 Essential Financial Aid Information Read More How to Find College Scholarships dori-zinn May 4, 2022 Your Complete Guide to the FAFSA 2022 Ben Luthi January 3, 2022 Grants for College: How to Get Free Money for Tuition dori-zinn September 30, 2019 Federal Student Loans Read More How to Apply for Student Loans: A Step-by-Step Guide Kat Tretina February 15, 2021 Federal Student Loans – The Ultimate Guide Andrew Zoeller February 17, 2020 Subsidized vs. Unsubsidized Student Loans Ben Luthi February 17, 2020 Private Student Loans Read More When and How To Apply for Private Student Loans Andrew Zoeller May 4, 2022 Federal vs Private Student Loans for College dori-zinn February 17, 2020 What Difference Does 1% Make on a Student Loan? (A Big One) Ben Luthi February 17, 2020 Graduate & Professional Student Loans Read More What Are Your Private MBA Student Loan Options? Ben Luthi May 22, 2020 Grad PLUS Loans – What You Need To Know Before You Apply Ben Luthi February 17, 2020 Graduate Student Loans: Top Options and the Benefits dori-zinn February 10, 2020 College Life & Money Management Read More Budgeting for College Students: Why and How Kat Tretina February 17, 2020 How to Make Money in College (Without Wacky Side Hustles) dori-zinn February 10, 2020 5 Side Hustle Ideas for College Students rachel-dix-kessler July 18, 2019 Want more content handpicked by our student loan experts, and delivered straight to you? Email* How to Pay for College - FAQ How can I pay for college without loans? Before you consider taking out student loans for college, you should first pursue grants and scholarships. Both can help you pay for college, and neither require that you pay any money back. Grants are generally awarded based on need, whereas scholarships are often based on merit (think academics or athletic ability). Grants and scholarships can be awarded by the federal government, your state, your school, or even a private organization or individual. What’s the best way to pay for college without help from parents? Not everyone has college savings to help fund their education. If you don’t have much savings — whether it be your own savings or your parents — you still have options. Beyond grants and scholarships, you could also consider doing a federal work-study program, or even taking on a part-time job while you study at college. If that’s not enough, you may need to consider applying for student loans. How do I apply for student loans? Whether or not you need federal student loans, you should fill out the FAFSA each year. It’s what the government uses to determine your federal student aid package — including grants and work-study. If you’ve maxed out your federal student loan options, private student loans may be the best choice. To get the best deal, you can compare top lenders in Purefy’s rate comparison tool, and once you select a lender, you will be taken to their website to apply. What percentage of students get a full ride scholarship? A full ride scholarship is one that covers the entire cost of attending college. The reality is, that even if you have a great SAT score and GPA, these types of scholarships are hard to come by. In fact, only 1.5% of bachelors degree students get enough scholarships and grants to cover the full cost of attendance. The number of students who got enough scholarship and grant money to cover 50% of the cost of attendance is still only 19%. How much does the average student pay for college? For 2018–2019, the average tuition and fees for in-state students at public four-year schools was $10,230. For out-of-state students, the average was $26,290. If you’re going to a private non-profit four year school, the average jumps up to $35,830. As you can see, school choice makes a big difference in the cost of your education. Choosing a private college over an in-state college could cost you more than three times as much money. How can I avoid paying out-of-state tuition? If you’re an out-of-state student hoping to get in-state tuition, the chances are slim, but it’s possible. In general, if you can attend a high-quality in-state school in your home state, that will be your best bet — but it won’t work for everyone. That said, the rules for getting in-state tuition vary by state and school. Some states have agreements with nearby states to allow in-state tuition reciprocity, especially if you live near the state line. Other schools or states may allow you to establish residency and reduce your tuition after your first year (this is tougher for dependent students whose families will stay in their home state). Check the rules and don’t be afraid to ask your potential new school — you may be surprised.