At CCPS, I define student aid as anything that helps your student get through college without loans. Ironically, a lot of students view loans as the PRIMARY form of "aiding" them through college financially. If not loans, then what?
You can put different types of aid into a few basic categories. Most students will need to access multiple categories to put together a complete plan.
Family savings - from parents, grandparents and/or the student
Family on-going contributions - which could mean lots of different things like money parents used to pay for music lessons, money they used to put in the student's allowance, money they used to add to their 529 every month, money the student earns from a part-time job during school, and the amount parents used to spend on groceries for the student.
School aid - need and/or merit based
Federal aid - grants for low income students
Tax Credits - from the American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit
State Aid - every state may have different ways of helping students with college
Military Programs - for students interested in military service
Or - get creative with it and think of other ways to make it work!
Add a few of these options to a strategic list of schools that make sense for the student, and you can put together a viable plan!
Do you want to get creative to make a plan for paying for college that doesn't involve student loans? Book a call and let's talk about it!