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The cost of higher education has skyrocketed these days with a University degree getting more and more expensive to achieve. Most students and their families are unable to meet these high expenses and often the dream of a higher education remains just that… a dream and the benefits of online education options should be explored as well. It is in these situations that one should think of applying for Student Financial Aid or a student loan which is offered to qualifying candidates by Government, through the respective Universities and is evidence of the Government’s commitment to improving accessibility to Higher education.

Student Financial Aid or Student loans can be of various types and categories and essentially the point to be remembered is that what works for one may not be feasible for the other. Hence one needs to do thorough research on the opportunities available in this regard before putting in an application. Some financial aid schemes are gifted to the students and need not be paid back while others are in the form of student loans that need to be repaid after a certain period. There are also opportunities for people currently working, where their companies will give student loans on the basis that they will pay for your studies if you pass the course and it is a good idea to approach your company for details of their student loan schemes.

Basically, Student Financial Aid can be roughly separated into grants, fellowships, scholarships and loans. Fellowships and scholarships fall into the category of grants and need not be paid back since they are offered to the student based on their past academic performance. But the main drawback of these non-payable grants is that they are available only for a minority of students who display academic brilliance and usually require the student to commit to working for the Company/Institution for a period of time. The amount and type of assistance you receive through scholarships also depend on your financial needs and could be in the form of payment of tuition fees and books, where you are responsible for payment of any other expenses.

Students may avail of Student Financial Aid through study loans and waivers too. Loans are sanctioned by various charitable and religious organizations or associations to give financial aid to students who are in need of it and are subject to various terms and conditions. These types of student loans normally need to be repaid with a small amount of interest within a stipulated period of time. Another way of obtaining necessary funding to meet the educational expenses is through the option of work study. Many educational institutions offer part time jobs to students through which they can earn substantially so as to meet their expenses.

Private student loans from Banks are available to students who are able to show an ability to repay these loans or have sufficient surety. These loans come with considerably lower interest than a personal loan and are intended to cover expenses related to tuition fee, accommodation, books, etc. These are to be mandatorily repaid once the student qualifies with a degree. It is at this time that students should take advantage of Student consolidation loans to help reduce payments and interest.