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Paying For College

Batting Cage

Paying For College


athletic, academic, and merit scholarships

Getting aid for your achievement

student loans

Types of Student Loans and how they apply

grants and how they work

Learn the basics of receiving a Grant

other ways to pay for college

Additional sources to help fund your college.

how to pay for college with no loans

Ways to help with tuition costs.


College costs have continued to rise. And when a scholarship or academic money doesn't cover the cost, what are your other options? There are financial aid opportunities to help with the situation. And it's always a good idea to think about your options to pay for college.


To keep in mind, the average cost of college (the net price a family pays) depends on several factors:


  • A college’s location (urban, rural, suburban) 

  • Type of college (private v. public)

  • A student’s personal preferences, like living at home versus paying for room and board

  • Miscellaneous expenses (like lab fees or supplies for art majors)

  • The amount of money they’re awarded in athletic scholarships, academic scholarships and financial aid.



Types of Scholarships and Aid
























How To Pay For College Without Having Loans

There are other ways to pay for college without taking out loans. Some were mentioned above. Here they  are:

  • Academic, athletic and merit-based scholarships.

  • Financial aid, like grants awarded by the federal government or a student’s college.

  • Federal Work-Study Program. This is a federally funded program (students can determine if they qualify by submitting their FAFSA) that helps students earn money for their tuition through a part-time employment program at their school. Students often work as tutors, perform administrative duties at their campus library, gym or student center or volunteer for community service through their school.

  • Part-time jobs or paid internships. While some college students do work part-time to help pay for school or other costs, like room and board, it’s more difficult for student-athletes, especially those competing at a D1 or D2 school, to balance a year-round job or internship along with their academics, athletics and extracurriculars.

  • Payment plans. Most colleges won’t require families to pay their total amount due in one lump sum. Monthly, quarterly or even semester payment plans are offered to split the costs across multiple months to make payments more manageable.

Athletic Scholarships
Academic Scholarships
Merit Scholarships
Student Loans
student loans

Awarded based on academic performance, including your grades and overall GPA, class rank, ACT and/or SAT scores and course rigor (taking AP, Honors or other challenging courses).

You must be able to qualify for an academic scholarship to be considered for one. Colleges and universities all have different criteria for awarding academic scholarships. There are different types of academic scholarships awarded for different levels of achievement. Academic scholarships are also awarded at different tiers, so a lower test score or GPA might just mean you’ll receive a smaller scholarship than a student-athlete who ranks at a slightly higher caliber.

Merit scholarships are usually related to academic performance, but can also be awarded to students who display other skills as well. 

Some examples of what Merit Scholarships could be awarded for are:

  • Display athletic or artistic achievements.

  • Have held or currently serve in leadership positions.

  • Are actively involved in clubs and extracurricular activities.

  • Participate in community service or volunteer at their school or in their community.

  • Have been awarded for their achievements, e.g., National Honor Society or the National Society of High School Scholars.

  • Have high grades, test scores, a certain class rank or take more challenging courses, like AP or Honors classes.

Awarded to qualified student-athletes at a college coach’s discretion. A coach can spread out any allocated scholarship money across multiple athletes, or for one or two high-level recruits to receive a higher athletic scholarship than the rest of the team.

There are two types of student loans:

  • Federal loans are borrowed from the federal government, which uses a student’s FAFSA to determine their financial needs and whether they are eligible for financial aid and federal loans. The federal government considers the cost of attending college and the expected family contribution (EFC). Federal Direct Loans and PLUS Loans have one standard rate for all borrowers regardless of income or creditworthiness.

  • Private loans are borrowed from banks and are a great option for families who may not qualify for federal aid, or who still have a larger balance to pay even after exhausting their scholarship, financial aid and federal loan options. While Federal Direct Loans and PLUS Loans have one standard rate for all borrowers, private student loan rates are typically based on the borrowers’ creditworthiness, so interest rates, fees, repayment and deferment options are going to be dependent on the lender. 

Students can take out both federal and private loans to pay for college. Unlike scholarships or financial aid, this money is borrowed from a government or bank and must be paid back over a set period of time, e.g., 10 years after graduation. Some loans also require students or their co-signers to pay interest on the money borrowed while they’re attending college or starting a few months after they graduate. 


Grants do not have to be repaid, which can help keep the overall cost of college down without adding any debt to pay back later. Grants can be awarded by the federal government, though private grants exist too. For example, some colleges use the FAFSA to determine if students qualify for need-based aid available from their private endowments, typically donated or gifted by alumni.

  • Federal Work-Study Program. While this program requires students to work part-time at their college, students can only qualify for work-study if they complete their FAFSA (and are determined to be in financial need).

  • Aid for military families. If a student-athlete serves in the military or is the spouse or child of a veteran, they may qualify for additional aid eligibility.

  • Other types of scholarships include those awarded for community service, hobbies or extracurricular interests, military involvement and employer scholarships. An applicant’s identity or family history can also qualify them for certain awards (like legacies, first generation or first to attend college in the U.S.) Some schools even offer scholarships to students who plan on pursuing a specific major or course of study.

  • There are thousands of scholarships awarded each year to qualified applicants or students who meet certain criteria. You just need to know where to look for them!

no loans
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