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The most common ways to pay for college include financial aid and savings.

Financial Aid

There are four types of financial aid that can help you pay for college. To determine if you qualify for grants, work-study, and student loans, you must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Some scholarships are also based on FAFSA results.

Grants are awarded to students who show financial need and are not repaid. They include the following.

Work-Study, also based on financial need, is money earned by working at a college-based job.

Federal student loans are money that is borrowed and must be repaid once you’re finished with college. Loans are also available for parents. See our loan chart for details.

Scholarships are awarded by private donors or your college and are not repaid. Some are based on financial need, while others are based on criteria such as academics, leadership, athletics, or talents. Learn more about scholarships and tips on how to earn them.

NEST 529 College Savings Plan

Consider investing in the NEST 529 College Savings Plan. The plan is a great way to save for your future education while also allowing for a Nebraska state income tax deduction.

Other Options

Private Loans are not funded by the federal government. Talk to your college financial aid office to determine if a private loan is an option. Carefully consider the interest rate and repayment terms before borrowing.

Military Education Assistance is offered by all military branches and includes the G.I. Bill, tuition reimbursement, and student loan repayment. Talk to a military recruiter for details.

AmeriCorps provides a stipend and educational award in exchange for community service. To learn more, visit ServeNebraska or AmeriCorps.  

Gap Community College Program is a type of financial aid for low-income students enrolled in community college programs that do not lead to a degree. Click here for details.