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Paying for College

College can be funded in a variety of ways. Scholarships can be a good option to pay for college. Unlike loans, the advantage of scholarships or grants is that they do not have to be repaid. Many workplaces offer tuition reimbursement for college educations. 

Finding Money for College: Scholarships

In the United States there are billions of dollars in student scholarships to be had. Thousands of organizations and associations sponsor these student scholarships, based on many criteria such as financial need, academic achievement, or ethnicity. Investigate the mission and funding history of these organizations, and tailor your applications to their goals.

Affordable Colleges Online: Graduating Debt-free:  guide on how to use work study, crowd funding and other financial resources to pay for higher education.

is an online source for career information and college financing, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.


       Financial Aid

City of Boston’s Youth Zone website has information on planning for college, applying for college, financing college, and a directory of college scholarships.

Johnson & Johnson Discover Nursing website contains scholarship and financial assistance resources for nursing education.  

Applying for Financial Aid: Federal Financial Aid and Student Loans

Most full-time college students receive some sort of financial aid outside of family support. There are a variety of financial aid resources available. All students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and turn it in as soon after the first of the year as possible. It is important to return this form quickly, because some aid is supplied on a first-come, first-served basis.

Federal Student Aid (U.S. Department of Education) Student Aid contains information on preparing for college, types of aid, who gets aid, FAFSA application, and repaying your loans. The U.S. Department of Education will send out a Student Aid Report that details your Expected Family Contribution and is used to determine what level of assistance you will receive from your chosen college.

Consumer Finance Protection Bureau - Get help to make informed financial decisions about how to pay for college. Start by comparing financial aid offers or understanding student loan repayment options. Consumer Finance

    Financial Aid Shopping Sheet 

     FinAid is an award-winning, comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice and tools.
     Access to FinAid is free for all users .

FIRST for Medical Residents - Association of American Medical Colleges website contains financial Information, resources,  services, and tools such as a Financial Aid Survival Kit for Graduating Medical School Students and Residents. 
   First for Residents is overseen by Massachusetts Financial Education Collaborative, whose goal is to connect MA residents to a network of vetted and reliable resources.

MassSaves - paying-for-college

$ALT – created by American Student Assistance - free college, career and financial aid information in the Boston area. Help is available in English, Spanish and Chinese.  Boston Public Library (main  branch) in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA. 617-536-0200.

Grant and Work-Study Programs

The following grant and work-study programs do not need to be repaid:

  • Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) is designed for students who have been disadvantaged due to educational or economic background. This program provides stipends, tuition and fees, tutoring, and special admission provisions for students who otherwise would be unqualified to enroll at certain colleges.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are available for undergraduates that demonstrate exceptional financial need.
  • Federal Work-Study Programs allow undergraduate and graduate students to earn money working on or off campus. Students work an average of 15 hours per week.
  • Pell Grants are mainly available for undergraduates. These are awarded based on financial need only. Grades are not a factor.

Student Loans

Many students finance their education with student loans administered by the college or university the student plans to attend. Short-term loans usually carry a slightly higher rate of interest than long-term loans, and are repayable within a year.

 Federal Student Aid (U.S. Department of Education) website contains a fact sheet on federal student loan programs:  

Perkins Loans—These are 5% interest loans made through the school of choice and repayment is made to them. These loans are sometimes forgiven if the student who receives them goes on to a career in helpful professions such as nursing. 

PLUS Loans (formerly Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students)—These loans are made to parents of students who are attending school at least half time. Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is disbursed. 

Stafford Loans— Stafford Loans are a form of federal student loans for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in college at least half time. Stafford Loans carry a fixed interest rate, and are typically the most affordable type of student loans. A percentage of Stafford loans are forgiven for students who go into some forms of public service.



For more information or to discuss financial concerns please contact Partners Employee Assistance Program at 1-866-724-4EAP.

In case of emergency, please call 911 or your local hospital emergency service.

This content was last modified on: 05/01/2017

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