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Our congratulations go out to the Class of 2017 and their parents! Preparing for college is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful as you start to tally the costs. College is expensive! Before you get overwhelmed, take a deep breath and take the process one step at a time.

How much will it cost?

By now you should have received information from your college of choice about your cost of attendance (COA). The COA outlines what you’ll be responsible for paying for one academic year, including room, board, books and other fees. Remember that your true cost of attendance may vary based on things such as your housing situation (a single room will usually cost more than a double shared with a roommate) or where you purchase your books (look for deals online or with used books).

How do I pay for it?

Now that you’ve reviewed the costs, how will you cover them? You should have filed your FAFSA earlier this year in order to find out how much financial aid you will receive from the government or your school. The government and your college will use your FAFSA information to decide how much financial aid you will receive. This aid will come in the form of scholarships and grants. Start with these options because they typically do not have to be repaid – in other words, free money for college!

The next option for financial aid comes from federal student loans. Federal loans come with many options to help you or your parents fund your college education. They also offer great benefits such as fixed rates, deferment, and income-based repayment, to name a few.

Still need more help paying for college?

Private student loans are the final option you should explore. These loans come from a private lender like 1st Ed Credit Union. Our Student Choice lending solution comes with low-interest rates, flexible repayment terms, and a convenient line of credit structure that allows you to get funding for your entire undergraduate career with just one application. By borrowing from a trusted, local lender, you’ll get a fair value loan with the personal service you’ve come to expect from your credit union.

Don’t wait until your fall tuition bill is due – now is the time to look into your options for paying for college! For more information, or to apply for a Student Choice line of credit, visit 1edcu.studentchoice.org.

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