College Planning

Does Your Child Need Help Paying for College?

A majority of college students receive some type of financial aid. This article lists five different financial aid terms that are important to know when researching financial aid.

5 Financial Aid Terms You Should Know

Many aspiring students need help paying for college. Here are five potential options that may help paying for college.

FAFSA

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) provides federal lenders (as well as some state lenders, private lenders, and colleges) with an overview of your family’s financial situation, and it helps determine your EFC (Expected Family Contribution), as well as what types of financial aid your student is eligible for. It also determines whether they are eligible for grants from the state and federal government, or other institutions.

529 College Savings Plans

529s are a great, tax-free (and tax beneficial) way to save for your child’s college tuition. Money deposited into a 529 is neither taxed when it accrues interest, nor when it is withdrawn for qualified expenses. You can learn more about the benefits of the 529 College Savings Plan here.

PLUS Loans

PLUS loans are federal financial aid loans available exclusively to graduate students and parents of dependent undergraduate students, and they can be used to cover expenses that other types of federal financial aid typically do not. Like federal student loans, they have a very low, favorable interest rate, but your credit history may be a factor.

Work-study programs

This type of financial aid is administered through your child’s college or university. A work-study program allows students to hold part-time jobs on campus or within the local community and apply the money earned toward college expenses.

Pell Grants

Pell Grants are need-based awards offered to qualifying students who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree at an accredited college or university. The max award per school year is $5,775 as of the 2015-2016 school year. You can learn more about Pell Grants at the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website.

Find more friendly advice about college planning in the Protective Learning Center.


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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax‐related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.

Help Paying for College

Need help paying for college? Before you begin to navigate the world of financial aid, get to know some of these basic financial aid terms that can make it easier to get the help paying for college that you need. For more information, visit our learning center.

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