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LITTLE ROCK -- For students heading to college this fall, funding deadlines are quickly
approaching, so it’s crunch time for financial decision-making, said Laura Connerly,
assistant professor and family finance expert for the University of Arkansas System
Division of Agriculture.
The SLM Corp., better known as Sallie Mae, is a publicly traded U.S. corporation that
offers financial products to help families save, plan and pay responsibly for college.
“According Sallie Mae’s 2014 survey ‘How America Pays for College,’parents and students
cover college expenses with a variety of sources: grants, scholarships, savings, income,
and loans,” Connerly said. “Careful consideration of funding options can help families
stretch their dollars.”
Here’s a look at potential payment options for families with college-bound students:
Grants and Scholarships: Grants and scholarships are the preferred source of funding. “Many academic scholarships
have been awarded by the end of the school year, but there may still be some funding
available,” Connerly said. “Check with your college financial aid department information
and application due dates.” The deadline to apply for the Arkansas Academic Challenge
Scholarship is June 1. Grants and scholarships typically cover only about 26 percent
of the average student’s expenses.
Savings and income: About 45 percent of college costs are covered by parents’ and students’ savings and
income. “It’s not too late to get a summer job to help defray college costs,” she
said. “Working part-time during the school year is also an option to consider.”
Loans: About 30 percent of students have some type of student loan. Loans can be federal
or private. A completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is required
to qualify for all federal and some private loans. The deadline to complete the FASFA
is June 30.
Credit Cards: Don’t use a credit card to pay for college. “It’s OK to have a credit card, but be
sure to charge only amounts that you know you can easily repay,” Connerly said. “Students
under age 21 must have a co-signer or proof that they have the ability to pay.” Used
carefully, a credit card can be a good way to establish a good credit history. For
example, use the card to purchase textbooks; make regular payments; pay off the debt
in a timely manner.
For more information, Connerly suggests visiting these site:
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) firstname.lastname@example.org