Paying for College Webinar

Financial planning for a college education can be a large task. But there are a variety of financial aid programs that can minimize college debt and resources available that can make education more affordable than ever! Watch our Paying for College webinar to learn more.

Money Smart

Amanda Blonco, a Florida college student and family finance major, talks about being smart with student loans and financial aid money.

Saving for College

The Cost of College

It has long been said that a college education is the ticket to a career with financial stability in the United States. But it can be an expensive ticket, and the cost rises every year.

The overall annual cost for college education ranges from $4,550 for community college to $35,374 for a private school, according to US News & World Report. And a recent national study revealed these costs are rising by about 6% a year.

Start Early

Those are some scary numbers. But if you have the benefit of time, they're not as bad as they seem. Here are some steps you can start taking today:

  • Go over your monthly finances and find a little extra money you can put away. Even $50 or $100 can make a big difference.
  • Make a commitment to devote at least that amount each month, and to add to it as your income increases.
  • Shop around for the best interest return you can get for your money.

High Return

Because the cost of college is rising faster than inflation, it's smart to invest your savings to get a higher interest rate than a typical bank can offer. Consider putting your money into:

  • Stocks
  • Mutual funds
  • Bonds

Help Paying for College

One important thing to keep in mind is that you won't necessarily have to come up with the entire cost of college. All higher education institutions offer financial aid in the form of grants and loans. These are most often funded by the federal government. But there are also often aid offerings from the state and from the school itself. Be sure to look into all the options available.

The Economy and the Labor Market

Visit your local workforce development board for free career counseling and resources. It is also a good idea to use the Employ Florida Marketplace website and look at the career information that is specific to Florida. Use the financial information to plug into our Education Calculators and get a good idea of what the salary will be for your chosen career, the cost of training and education, and available educational institutions in Florida that you can attend.

University or Community College?

When deciding where to start your post-secondary education, look into the cost differences between community colleges and universities. Community colleges typically cost much less and will give you some time to help you transition into this new phase of your life. Also, getting accepted into a Florida university tends to be a bit easier if you have gone through the community college system.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Paying for College website has information to help you make informed financial decisions. Click here for information on understanding student loan repayment, tips to help you compare financial aid offers and much more!

CFPB Warns Colleges About Secret Campus Credit Card Contracts

The CFPB is warning colleges to improve their disclosure of school-sponsored credit card agreements. Find out how the bureau is enforcing transparency by viewing the full article.


Financial Aid

Grants and Scholarships

Student Loans

529 Plans

Tips for Saving

Education Calculators