College can be expensive, but online student loans can aid in the higher education process for those who think they can not afford it. There are various types of financial aid available online, and the variety of loan options can overwhelm the typical college applicant.

Financial aid is currently available from the U.S. federal government, from the individual states of the applicant, from non-profit organizations and from individual colleges and institutions. Each different loan requires a different set of requirements and a different application process.

A student loan is no different from a loan from a credit card company. It is money borrowed that must be paid back with interest. All types of financial aid are different and each one comes with a different value, a different interest rate, and different terms and conditions attached to it. Before anyone takes out any type of financial aid, they should know all the terms and conditions before signing the dotted line so they do not wind up with a debt they can not pay off.

Student loans from the U.S. federal government are available for those who served in the military, as well as children of veterans. The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program is the largest federal financial assistance program, with the department of education being the lender to the student. Under the William Ford Direct Loan Program, students can apply for four unique different loans.

Federal loans for students

Federal loans are also available for those on government financial assistance programs. Students can apply for financial assistance through their individual institution, but the funding will come through the government, and the debt will ultimately have to be paid back to government, not the school. Federal grants are reserved for those who would most financially benefit from the grant, but scholarships and work-study programs are often reserved for those who have performed well in high-school or have achieved an outstanding accomplishment.

Financial aid from the state government is another type of monetary assistance available to students. This funding comes from the state government and the terms and conditions vary from state to state. State governments typically provide scholarships, grants, and federally-supported loan programs to those in need of financial assistance, and students with outstanding high school performance.

Non-profit organizations are also good sources for finding loans for college. To find loans, scholarships or grants from individual non-profits, students can do online searches or speak to their high school or college advisers. Scholarships and grants often called “free money” because they do not need to be repaid, whereas student loans have interest rates and do need to be repaid.

College financial aid for students

The last source for student loans comes from the institution the college is about to attend. Many colleges offer financial aid from their own funds for students who can not afford to attend on their own. Typically, college applications will have a section where the student can apply for financial aid from the institution right on the application. Financial assistance is usually reserved for those who need it the most, however students can also qualify due to outstanding academic performance in high school.

Doing extensive research, comparing interest rates and talking to college advisers always helps when comparing student loans. State government websites and federal websites are good resources for those looking for financial aid online. Researching private non-profits with the best student loan programs, as well as the most rewarding grant programs can help students find private loan options that significantly help them pay for their education.