There are many different paths that the prospective college student can take to alleviate some of their tuition-related expenses, but these can normally be divided into two groups. The first group is composed of financial opportunities and solutions that produce no additional debt for the college student. Many individuals, who graduated from high school with excellent marks, may find themselves presented with numerous scholarships and grants from their future university, as well as their state's education program. Additionally, there are thousands of scholarships that students can apply for, and while these may often have very strict requirements related to the applicant's major, citizenship, ethnicity or even gender, every future college student should be able to find several offers that match their specific qualifications. Furthermore, there will normally be a lot of competition for the most lucrative scholarships, as the students that ultimately receive them are not required to pay back the money received from a particular scholarship fund. Consequently, the best high school students may be able to pay for their entire college education using scholarships alone, and leave with a degree without taking out a single dollar in student loans.
In addition to applying for several scholarships, every student should also fill out their federal financial aid application, also referred to as FAFSA. The cost of college education is very expensive and most middle class families in the United States will not be able to cover the tuition expenses at a private university using their savings alone. However, the federal government, understanding the economical need for a highly educated workforce, has numerous programs in place, meant to provide a way to cover tuition costs for those wishing to continue their education. Ultimately, the amount of money received will dependent on the student's financial situation, and while certain students may receive several grants, others may only be eligible for special federal student loans. While the latter group will require the student to repay the money after receiving their college degree, the government student loans will feature a much lower interest rate than their private counterparts, and some portion may even be received in a subsidized form with a very low interest rate.