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!

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Overwhelmed by student debt?

It is now easier than ever to create a personalized path to affordable monthly student loan payments with the use of the CFPB's Payback Playbook. This is a tool that helps borrowers gain a better understanding of the repayment options available to them for paying off their student debt. View the full article to learn more.

Saving for 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.

Recent data from US News & World Report indicates the average cost for tuition and fees range from $8,957 for public in-state, $20,729 for public out-of-state and $32,599 for private schools. These costs are rising by up to 3.4% a year, according to a recent report by

Browse the tabs below to help build your college savings plan.

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.

Don't forget to research and apply for scholarships. A scholarship is money that you do not have to pay back and is offered to students by schools, non-profit organizations, employers, private companies and other organizations. Reach out to your school's financial aid office for assistance with finding scholarships. 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 Marketplacewebsite 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.

Video Resources

Paying for College Webinar

Money Smart

Watch our Paying for College webinar to learn more about a variety of financial aid programs and resources available for planning a college education. Amanda Blonco, a Florida college student and family finance major, talks about being smart with student loans and financial aid money.