College costs are rising in the United States; however, earning a postsecondary credential is more important than ever. Part of being college and career ready is having a plan for financing post-secondary education. Educators can help students begin thinking about how they will pay for college from an early age and help them limit their personal financial burden.

Financial aid is one of the tools that can make college attainable. There is more than $185 billion in aid available from federal and state governments, colleges and universities, and private organizations. However, not all financial aid is “created equal.” It is very important that students understand the different forms of financial aid, what interest rates and repayment looks like for each, and how it could impact their debt status later in life.

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