Paying for School
How are you preparing to pay for college? College can be affordable. Saving in a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan such as the Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) can help you pay for qualified higher education expenses.
Paying for School
How are you preparing to pay for college? College can be affordable. Saving in a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan such as the Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) can help you pay for qualified higher education expenses. Grants, scholarships, work-study jobs, and loans are other ways to pay. The key is to do your research and create a plan.
Grants are awarded to students based on financial need and typically don’t have to be paid back. The U.S. Department of Education uses the information reported in the FAFSA to determine your child’s eligibility. Talk to a high school counselor or contact the financial aid office at one of the state universities or colleges for more information.Examples of available grants:
- The most common grant is the Federal Pell Grant (max $5,775 per year)
- The Federal Pell Grant is only available to undergraduate students
- There are also several Utah state grant programs that may be available to Utah Residents who qualify. Contact the college’s financial aid office for more information on these state grant programs.
Scholarships are awards typically based on unique criteria such as talent, achievement, financial need, etc. Billions of dollars worth of scholarships are available each year to college students across the country. Some scholarships require students to take specific classes, maintain minimal standards during their time in school (such as minimum GPA) or take a certain number of credit hours per semester.How to find scholarships:
- The best place to begin your scholarship search is with the college(s) you plan to attend. Check the college financial aid office website for more information.
- Use the Scholarship Search to find scholarships you might qualify.
- High school counseling centers are another excellent source for researching available scholarships.
- Once you have found suitable scholarships, they should apply for them as soon as possible.
- Some scholarships may require you to complete a FAFSA
- Beware of scholarship scams! Never, ever pay a fee to apply for scholarships
- Websites like mycollegescholarship.org/ are great resources to help you apply.
- The Utah State Board of Regents offer two merit-based scholarships available to all Utah high school students: The New Century Scholarship and the Regents’ Scholarship.
- Borrow only 8-10% of the expected income upon graduation.
- Borrow federal student loans first.
- Make sure you contact your lender and arrange to pay the interest on your student loans while you are in school.
Federal Direct Loans: are variable and fixed interest loans in some cases, the interest is not applied until six months are you leave school. This type of loan is called A Direct Subsidized loan. In other cases, the interest begins to accrue immediately. This type of loan is referred to as a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.
Utah Educational Savings Plan
UESP is Utah’s official and only tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan. One of the nation’s top 529 plans, UESP offers flexible and innovative investment options including two customized options.Other benefits include:
- Opening an account is free and no minimum balance is required
- Fees are low
- Earnings grow deferred from federal and Utah State income taxes and are tax-free when used for qualified higher education expenses such as tuition, mandatory fees, required books and supplies, and certain room and board costs.
- Utah taxpayers may claim 5% Utah sate income tax credit for each account they own for contributions up to a certain amount.