College Planning

Getting Started with Paying for College

Whether you've been saving for decades or you're just getting started, these resources provide a place to start your search for college funds.

I Need Help Paying for College. But Where Do I Start?

If you’re a student who is looking for answers on how to pay for college, you might feel a bit overwhelmed at the process. Yes, there are an abundance of websites to peruse, but where do you start?

We’ve put together a list of helpful websites that can serve a resource for beginning your financial journey down the road of paying for college. While this list isn’t inclusive, it can help to point you in the right direction.

ACT’s Financial Aid Need Estimator.

Here you’ll find a tool that can give you a good idea of what type of financial need you’re most likely looking at. This is an important first step, because your financial need is what determines how much (if any) need-based federal aid you may qualify for.

The Financial Aid

Brought to you by the good folks at FAFSA, this website is a type of financial aid consulting service. It offers both parents and students help with completing required financial aid forms that can help maximize a student’s financial aid package.

National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

The site offers information under its "Students, Parents & Counselors" tab, where you’ll find a ton of information about financial aid, eligibility for financial aid, and a state by state look at different financial aid programs.

In addition to searching for grants, scholarships, and students loans, there's also the need for parents to put away money for their children’s college education. This website provides a wealth of information on 529 savings plans across the nation, as well as financial aid and scholarships.

Big future.

This site not only offers an overview of financial aid options, but provides some handy features as a scholarship search tool that scours more than 2,200 programs involving financial aid, scholarships, and internships.

Here you’ll find on online form that can be used to calculate your expected family contribution (EFC) and financial need, and to get a better estimate your student financial aid.

For more information on how to pay for and save for college, visit the Protective Learning Center.

Was this article helpful?

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

I Need Help Paying for College

You are not alone if you hear yourself saying, “I need help paying for college.” If you need help paying for college but don't know where to start, this article can help. Here you'll find websites that can serve as a resource for finding information on how to pay for college. For more information, visit our learning center.