How to Fund College
3Rivers understands the cost of college can be expensive and stressful, which is why our advisors are here to help put college funding stress to rest.
So how do you determine your cost of attendance, lower the cost, and fund college?
Cost of Attendance
The cost of attendance is the total amount needed for one year of college. This includes tuition and fees, housing, books, supplies, transportation, and other expenses. You will want to prepare to fund college for not just one year, but for each year you are in school. Discover your school’s cost of attendance at the National Center for Education Statistics.
Lower your Cost of Attendance
- Explore careers. Establish your chosen career field today so you don’t lose credits and money by switching majors. Don’t know what career you want? Visit www.mynextmove.org to research career options. This resource provides information on the education needed, job outlook, average salary of each career, and more.
- Compare colleges. Choose the best education at the most affordable price based on your career, major, and location. Build a list of schools for side-by-side comparison at the National Center for Education Statistics, where you can find out how much your school costs, if your school is accredited, and more.
- Evaluate housing options. Consider the price, safety, and value of living on-campus, off-campus, or at home.
Utilize Free and Federal Money
- File your FAFSA. Filing for your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is your gateway to receiving federal, state, or college money – including scholarships, grants, and student loans.
- Apply for Scholarships and Grants. Scholarships and grants are great ways to receive FREE money that does not have to be repaid.
- 529 College Saving Plans. Start a tax-advantaged 529 College Savings Plan. Contact 3Rivers’ ClearFuture Advisors to learn more.
- Federal Work Study. The Federal Work Study program provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students on-campus.
- Subsidized & Unsubsidized Federal Student Loans. Subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans are for students with financial needs as determined by the U.S. Department of Education based on the information reported by the student on their FAFSA.
Fill in the College Funding Gap
After you have explored the options mentioned above, 3Rivers is here to help fill in any gaps for the remaining cost of college through Undergraduate Private Student Loans and Graduate Private Student Loans.
Additional Resource Links
Below are a few helpful resource links 3Rivers encourages students to visit when exploring colleges, careers, and financial aid opportunities:
- Review the 3Rivers Student Loans Checklist
- Find a career that is right for you. Explore Careers
Narrow down your choice of college. College Navigator
To contact a 3Rivers college funding advisor, email StudentLoans@trfcu.org or call 260.490.8328 ext. 8265.