Education Funding Plan
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Learning how to pay for a college education can feel overwhelming, but with the right approach your options
become much clearer. Use this worksheet in conjunction with your award letter to explore the best ways
to successfully fund your education.
List Cost of Attendance
Tuition & Fees
Room & Board
Books & Supplies
Total Cost:
List Family Savings & Resources
Parent Savings
Student Savings
Student Income
Other Contributions
Total Resources:
List Non-Loan Aid
Outside Gift Aid
Work Study
Total Financial Aid Award:
List Federal & Institutional Student Loans
Direct Subsidized
Direct Unsubsidized
Institutional Loans
Total Student Loans:
Now subtract your resources, nancial aid, and student loans
from the total cost to nd your funding gap.
Financing Gap
Total Cost
Total Resources -
Total Non-Loan Aid -
Total Student Loans -
Funding Gap =
How to Fund the Gap
If you’ve exhausted your Direct Loan
eligibility and still need more funds,
you have three student loan options:
1. Parent pays 100% of the gap with
a Direct PLUS loan.
With this option, parents take full
responsibility for the remaining cost
by borrowing PLUS loans, which are
federally funded.
2. Student covers 100% of the gap with
a private loan.
With a private loan, the student can
take full responsibility for the
remaining cost of his or her education.
A co-signer is often required for
a private loan, so that person
(typically a parent) would also be legally
bound to the debt.
3. Student and parents split cost with
a mix of PLUS and private loans.
Your family can share the cost of the
gap by taking on both Parent PLUS
loans and student private loans.
You can split the difference 50 - 50,
or choose a ratio that works better
for your situation (be sure to consider
your repayment ability based
on future income).
Next Steps:
Get the details on each loan program’s
features, then use an estimated payment
and loan cost calculator to determine the
potential payments and long-term cost
of what you plan to borrow at: