Financing Your Education

Many students give up on the idea of a college education simply because of the cost. All we hear about today is how expensive college is and how many people are saddled with loan payments they can’t afford. But this is only one side of the coin. There are several financial aid options available to all types of students. The mission of financing a post-secondary education involves a little research but the pay-off is well worth it for any success oriented individual.
To apply for almost every type of assistance, a FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form will need to be completed. It may be time-consuming, but it is free and can easily be accessed online. Once completed, your eligibility for all major forms of financial assistance can be determined and you are one step closer to funding your education. Any type of financial aid will fall under one of these categories:
1. GRANTS – funds you do not have to pay back
2. WORK-STUDY – steady employment that helps you to pay your tuition
3. LOANS – these must be re-paid over time and with interest
Out of these avenues, the three most common types of funding for students are listed below:
Pell Grant – A Pell Grant, which means the funds do not have to be paid back, is awarded based on financial need, cost of education, and student status. The amount received can range anywhere from $575 all the way to $5,550 per academic year. To qualify for a Pell Grant, the family income is typically under $30,000, however families with incomes as high as $60,000 could still receive the grant, depending on family size and other factors.
Stafford Loans –These loans are preferred by students because they have a low fixed interest rate, and your credit score isn’t a factor. You can borrow up to $9,500 in the first academic year and $10,500 for the second year of the college. Due to this, Stafford loans are an easy and viable way to sponsor a higher education. The best part is you are not required to make payments until after you complete your schooling.
PLUS Loans – When grants and Stafford Loans don’t cover the full cost of tuition, PLUS loans are a good alternative. These loans can be taken out by the student’s parents for the entire amount of the school’s bill. To be approved a decent credit score must be in place, but these loans come with a fixed interest rate of 7.9%.
Besides the above federal financial aid, LA ORT participates in a number of state, local and private aid programs such as Cal Grant C, Workforce Investment Act (WIA), William & Florence Schneider Educational Loan, LA ORT Educational Loan and LA ORT’s Scholarship. Availability and student eligibility for these programs is subject to change and is determined by the funding organization. LA ORT’s Financial Aid Department can help you with the latest information regarding the above sources of aid. 
To learn more about the opportunities available to you, contact an ORT advisor today!

LA ORT is a group of nonprofit junior colleges in Los Angeles and Van Nuys provide career training in short term courses.