How do I pay for college?
College is expensive, so it is important to plan early for ways to cover the costs. For many people, college is worth the cost, but if it is too expensive, it is not a feasible option. The cost of going to college depends a lot on where you want to go and where you plan to live. It may be necessary to develop a plan that allows you to take one class at a time.
Can I apply for financial aid?
Financial aid is money that is loaned to a student to help him/her pay for college. To receive this federal financial aid, you have to fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and qualify for financial aid. To qualify for the aid, you need to have a high school diploma or GED, and you must enroll in a degree or certificate program at a college. This disqualifies many people with intellectual disabilities from being eligible to get the aid. Fortunately, the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 included opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities to apply for federal financial aid (such as Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), and Federal Work Study), if they attend a program at a college or university that has been approved by the federal government as a Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary (CTP) Program. To learn more about financial aid and approved colleges, visit the Federal Student Aid website.
You can also get a job while you are in high school to earn and save money. You might even consider applying to be an AmeriCorps member. You can apply to be an AmeriCorps member before going to college. After your year of service with AmeriCorps you will earn a Segal Education Award that you can use to help pay for college. Check out these websites for more information on how to pay for your education.
- Think College - Paying for College
- Pacer Center - Planning and Funding College Education
- Pacer Center - Saving for your Child's Future
- Student Financial Aid
- Ruby's Rainbow: Scholarships for Students with Down Syndrome