Explore financial options for post-secondary education

Information and options are available to financially prepare for a student’s post-secondary education.

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Along with scholarships, there are additional ways to finance post-secondary education. One option for financing post-secondary education is financial aid. To cover the cost of pursing post-secondary education, the federal government provides different financial packages for students such as grants and loans. Federal Student Aid is a place to start to learn about the types of financial aid available for students planning to attend higher education.

On the Federal Student Aid website, students and parents/guardians can also receive a general idea of how much financial assistance will be available to them through the FAFSA4caster. The FAFSA4caster consists of a series of questions for families to answer and it will give them a general idea of the amount of student aid available to them for post-secondary education. This tool is a good start to  begin or continue a financial plan for education beyond high school.  The financial plan for post-secondary education also includes other funding sources outside of financial aid such as scholarships, a savings plan and other means.

Before considering the various types of financial assistance from the federal government, as a student or parent/guardian of a student, have you started to save for post-secondary education? It is never too late or too early to begin saving for post-secondary education. Websites such as Savingforcollege.com provide information for students and parents/guardians who are saving or planning to save for post-secondary education.  Parents/guardians can also explore savings options such as a 529 Plan.

Students can work a part-time job during high school or in the summer as another option to begin saving for their future education. Students can consider working during college or even start a business to help fund their post-secondary education. The income from the job or business is important and learning good money management skills is just as important to pay for higher education.  

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development have resources in youth money management to provide assistance to youth who want to learn about saving and managing their money. These resources can also provide assistance to adults interested in teaching money management skills to youth. Michigan 4-H Youth Development trains adults and utilizes a curriculum (NEFE High School Planning Program) from the National Endowment for Financial Education to teach high school students.

Take into consideration the importance of exploring the various financial options to financially prepare for post-secondary education.

For more information or resources on career exploration, workforce preparation, financial education, or entrepreneurship, contact 4-HCareerPrep@anr.msu.edu.

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