Other Aid Programs

options to consider to avoid high student loan debt

Don't narrow yourself into strictly student loans. There are other options to explore that can help defray the cost of education and keep your student loan borrowing at a minimum.

Below are four (4) quick alternative aid programs for college

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other aid programs

State Aid Agencies

State government agencies offer a variety of state-sponsored financial aid programs such as grants, scholarships, loans and other financial aid. These programs are restricted to state residents or students attending in-state institutions

Find and contact your state education department for complete information

View our list of state agencies

(note: links to our companion site

other aid programs

Savings Program

State 529 Plans

  • savings programs established and administered by States for the purpose of setting aside savings for "qualified higher education expenses"
  • family member setup and make contributions to a fund with a States that sponsors 529 College Prepaid Tuition and/or Savings Plans
  • see this 529 center for state-by-state information

IRA Withdrawals

  • you can make withdrawals from your IRAs for qualified higher education expenses without having to pay the early withdrawal penalty tax as long as the cost does not exceed the qualified expenses for college.
  • You will owe income tax on at least part of the amount withdrawn.
  • more information from the IRS web site

other aid programs

Other Special Assistance

  • Veterans Benefits
    aid is available for veterans, reservists, National Guard persons, widows, and orphans.
  • Americorps
    allows people of all ages and backgrounds to earn loan rebates in exchange for service.
  • U.S. Public Health Service
    variety of loans, scholarships, and other programs available for students in the health professions.
  • Job Training Partnership Act
    Department of Labor program of tuition and free assistance for job training for the economically disadvantaged, dislocated workers, and others facing employment barriers.
  • Loan Forgiveness
    volunteer for public service after college and have some of your student loan debt forgiven:

    programs: americorps | peace corps | VISTA

other aid programs

Tax Credits

American Opportunity Tax Credit

  • Provides for a maximum $2500 per year per eligible student
  • it is available only for the first four years of post secondary education
  • the student must be enrolled at least 1/2 of the full-time workload in a program that leads to a degree, certificate or other educational credential.
  • view IRS topic for more information

Life-Time Learning Tax Credit

  • provides for a maximum $2000 per year per family
  • it is available for any year of post secondary education including graduate work and for courses to acquire or improve job skills
  • student does not need to be pursuing a degree or other recognized education credential
  • view IRS topic for more information