Financial Aid Options
Most students who pursue an aviation-related degree do so at a two-year community college or a four-year college or university. Therefore, they are technically no different than students who are pursuing traditional degrees like computer science or history. These students are free to pursue the same financial aid options as anybody else, including federal funding and private loans. Any institution that provides undergraduate loans and grants can provide funding to students of aviation and air traffic control.
Stafford loans are perhaps the most popular type of financial aid distributed to undergraduates. Subsidized by the federal government, Stafford loans do not take credit into account when determining eligibility, so young students have access to them and all students are given a fixed-interest rate that is significantly lower than any other loans. Interest rates can be as low as 3.4 percent. Students can also get relatively large student loans – approximately $20,000 per year depending on the school they attend and their financial eligibility – and they do not have to begin a repayment schedule until after they graduate.
The majority of students who finance their own college educations will take out some measure of Stafford loans because they are arguably the best option for the vast majority of college students. In order to qualify for federal Stafford loans, students must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each January.
The federal government also offers Pell grants to students who have demonstrated significant financial need. Students can get answers to their questions regarding federal funding through their school’s financial aid office.
Private Student Loans
Private student loans are usually only used by those students who need to supplement their federal loans, personal contributions and contributions from parents to meet room and board, books and tuition financial needs. There are many banks and lending institutions that offer private student loans and it is important that students compare all of the options available to them so that they can get the best possible interest rate and prepare a repayment plan that is feasible for them. Some private loans have fixed rates while others have variable rates.
It is more difficult to get a private student loan than it is to get a federal student loan because banks do often take credit into account. Students can apply with a cosigner, if necessary, which will help lower a student’s interest rate. Usually, the cosigner is a parent. The most popular private student loaners are Sallie Mae, Wells Fargo, Citibank, PNC, Citizen’s Bank, and U.S. Bank. (PrivateStudentLoans.com)