College Funding 2018-01-18T12:00:54+00:00

Project Description

Money Smart Main Topics

College Funding

It is more important than ever to make wise decisions about financing college and continuing education, especially as the cost of post secondary education continues to increase.

Whether you are planning to attend college, are currently a student or already have student loans, below are tools and resources to help you along the way.

Talk to an Expert

KC Degrees

KC Degrees supports adults in the Kansas City region to earn a college degree or high quality certificate. KC Degrees provides adults in-person, phone, and online advisement to help navigate the process to return and finish college. To get started complete the online intake form ( For questions, visit KC Degrees ( or call toll free 844-872-6009.

Educational Opportunity Center

Educational Opportunity Center – 816-604-4400 – The Educational Opportunity Center assists high school students and adults who are pursuing GED/HiSet or college/post-secondary education programs. Free services include: academic advising, college planning & selection, career counseling, financial aid & scholarship application assistance, defaulted student loan resolution counseling, and HiSet/GED referral & placement.

Community America

Community America Education and Career Planners will create a customized roadmap to assist you in preparing for the major milestones in the college planning process including:

  • Pre-college preparation– Know exactly what you need to do to prepare for your next great milestone
  • Choosing the right school– Match your needs and goals with the varied options for education after high school, such as college, community college, technical training or career preparation
  • Career and major exploration– Focus on your career goals and create a plan to accomplish your goals
  • Paying for college– Understand possible financing options, including scholarships, loans, grants, self-funded, work-study program or help from mom and dad

It’s never too early (or too late) to start planning. Whether you have a child in elementary school, a high school senior, a current college student or want to make a career change, we can help create a path to success.

KC Scholars – Applications due by March 2, 2018

This scholarship awards 11th graders up to $10,000 per year up to five years, and is awarded directly to the college or university of enrollment. Students must maintain a cumulative 2.5 high school GPA and enroll full-time in college the semester immediately following high school graduation.

Apply Now

Learn More

This scholarship is given to adults with some college, but no degree. Adult learners can receive up to $5,000 per year for up to five years and can enroll full-time or part-time. To qualify, they must be at least 24 years old at the time of college enrollment in the fall semester of 2018 and have previously earned at least 12 college credits.

Apply Now

Learn More

This program is available to 9th graders and is a one-time award. Each year, up to 500 students will have a 529 college savings account seeded with $50 from KC Scholars. Of these 500 9th graders, at least 50 will be selected for the 4:1 match and incentives program where a student can earn a one-time award of up to $7,000 toward college.

Apply Now

Learn More

Additional Reasorces

Access a complete listing of Kansas City scholarships.
  • FAFSA 101 Video – This 8 minute video provides information you’ll need on hand to complete the application quickly and accurately.
  • FAFSA 101 Simulation (English and Spanish)  Follow an online simulated conversation between a father and son discussing the ‘Free Application for Student Aid’ or FAFSA
  • Financial Aid 101 Video – This 9 minute video features details about financial-aid options such as grants, scholarships and loans.
  • Financial Aid Quiz PDF – This resource is a fun way to learn about grants, scholarships, work study and student loans, all options for paying for college.
  • Types of Federal Student Aid video – This short video offers a brief overview of types of federal aid available to students, by Federal Student Aid.
  • Invest in What’s Next: Life After High School – Use this online course to explore your job interests, the education needed to reach your goals and the personal financial decisions to help you get there.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are federal student loans and private loans. Federal student loans often have lower interest rates and are more common. Additionally, some federal loans cover the cost of your interest while you are in school, also called subsidized loans. Most private loans are offered by financial institutions and have variable interest rates, as high as 16% recently. Repayment options tend to be more varied for federal loans.
Choose the loan that is right for you! Learn about which one to seek first, plus the benefits and risks of both at: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Paying for College – Choosing a Loan
Yes, many students borrow private and federal loans.
  • Search for scholarships.
  • Look at ways to cut costs.
  • Find out what your family can contribute. Your parents may be able to get tax credits for their contributions and can also explore Direct PLUS loans.
  • Shop around for a private loan and remember to look for the lowest interest rates. Generally, you  should turn to private loans after you have explored all other grant, scholarship, and federal loan options.
  • Scholarship Opportunities – Research available scholarships for you through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
  • Fast Web – Create a profile using this online resource to find scholarship opportunities tailored to you
The government pays the interest on subsidized loans while you are in school and you pay the interest on unsubsidized loans. Subsidized loans are based on financial need.
Congress can change federal student loan rates; however, your rate remains the same once you agree to a federal student loan until it is paid off. Interest rates on private loans are determined by the lender based on your creditworthiness.
You should not replace student loan debt with credit card debt because it can make your education costs much more expensive with the compound interest and higher interest rates.
Contact your lender immediately and ask for alternative repayment options, such as a temporary suspension or reduced payments. You might also ask about forbearance or deferment options.
A deferment is a temporary pause in your student loan payments due to active military service and/or reenrollment in school. Forbearance is a temporary reduction or suspension in your payments based on job loss, illness, injury, etc. Your lender will assess your circumstances and provide available options.
The Federal Student Aid site,, has an easy to read chart explaining Direct Loan and FFEL Program Repayment Plans. This includes:

  • Repayment Plan
  • Eligible Loans
  • Monthly Payment and Time Frame
  • Eligibility and Other Information

Financial Aid & Loans

Types of Financial Aid and Loans

All Titles are also links to websites where you will find more information.


Money that you borrow and must be paid back with interest. Loans can be provided through federal or private means, including schools, financial institutions and other private sources. Federal loans tend to have lower interest rates and a larger array of repayment options.

Federal Loans

Direct Subsidized

Loan that does not accrue interest during enrollment for undergrad students based on financial need

Direct Unsubsidized

Loan for undergrad, grad and professional students

Direct PLUS

Loan for grad and professional students and parents of dependent undergrads to pay for costs above and beyond financial aid

Direct Consolidation

Loan that enables borrowers to combine federal student loans into one single loan

FAFSA and Financial Aid Guidebook


School-based loan for undergrad and grad students with extreme financial need that does not accrue interest during students’ enrollment


A gift of money that does not need to be repaid and is available from multiple sources such as schools, employers, individuals, private companies, nonprofits, communities, religious groups, and professional and social organizations. Grants are typically need-based and scholarships are usually merit-based. Find types of scholarships available, how to find and apply for them and more through the Federal Student Aid site. Visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Scholarship Finder for available scholarships.

Pell Grant

A federal grant that does not have to be repaid and typically given to undergrad students without a bachelor’s or professional degree, up to $5,730/year


A part-time job available to students that helps to pay for education expenses, typically based on financial need and related to the student’s course of study Learn more about work-study options, earnings and more through Federal Student Aid.

Military Tuition

Monetary support for active-duty service members pursuing higher education

GI Bill

Education benefits that do not have to be repaid for service members and veterans to cover tuition and fees, monthly living funds and a book stipend

Tools for Paying for College

All Titles are also links to websites where you will hind more information.

Federal Loan Comparison PDF

Learn about current limits per loan

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Explore how to complete and file the FAFSA


Look for ways to finance your education, including information about scholarships, loans, savings, military aid and more

Financial Aid Finder

Find scholarships, loans and how to save for college, as well as tips for completing the necessary forms

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) College Cost Comparison Tool

Find out the financial impact of schools of your choice and where to find costs if you don’t have financial aid

CFPB Financial Aid Shopping Sheet

Know how much you’ll owe in advance

CFPB Paying for College Action Guide – PDF

Tips for finding a loan that’s right for you

Big Future

Explore how to apply for financial aid, a breakdown of college expenses and available scholarships and loans

Federal Student Aid Eligibility

Learn about exploring careers, the types of financial aid available, how to qualify and apply for aid, as well as how to manage a student loan

College Saving/529 Plan

Find out the differences between pre-paid plans and college savings plans and associated fees and restrictions.


Missouri’s 529 College Savings Plan

Learning Quest

Kansas’ 529 Education Savings Program

529  Plan Finder

Financial Assistance for Low-Income Students

Student Loan Repayment and Debt Assistance

All Titles are also links to websites where you will hind more information.

Student Debt

Get key information about financial aid for students including financial tips and managing loan debt.

Student Loan Help

Access student loan assistance through free, one-on-one counseling and find out which federal aid programs for which you qualify.

Student Loan Borrower Assistance

Learn about the programs and legal options available to assist with student loan debt.

American Student Assistance

Plan for college, find sources of financial aid and get access loan repayment tools.

Federal Student Aid

Change your repayment plan, connect with your loan servicer and learn about plan options, including those tied to income.

CFPB Know Your Options Tool

Access advice for optimizing how to pay off student loans based on your situation.

Federal Student Aid Deferment Resources

Learn about what happens during deferment, who is eligible and how to request one.

Federal Student Aid Forbearance Resources

Find out how to request forbearance and how it affects your loan.

Student Loan Complaint

After submitting a complaint online or by phone (855) 411-2372), the CFPB will help to get a response from your loan provider. Available in English and Spanish language.
Translate »