Posts by Jon O'Donnell

Jon is a writer and marketer for Nitro who is passionate about bringing transparency to the student loan process along with providing families with the information needed to make smart financial decisions. He also just recently refinanced his student loans allowing him to pay them off 5 years faster all while saving an additional $152/month. As he continues to pay them off himself, he strives to help others do the same. Jon also has a long history of connecting people with educational opportunities to help them improve their careers and their overall personal finances. In his free time you can find him reading travel blogs and researching destinations around the world in search of his next adventure.
Jon O'Donnell

When you’re ready to fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you’ll need to have some very specific info on-hand. 

Here's how you can prepare. 

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As you start to secure funding for your higher education, you've likely come across the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This should be your first step in acquiring college funding. It allows you to apply for — and determines — if you qualify for any federal student aid.

The U.S. Department of Education will award financial aid via the FAFSA based on a student's or family's financial need for the upcoming academic year. The Pell Grant is one of the types of student aid you will potentially qualify for. But, what exactly is the Pell Grant and how do you apply?

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To help students cover higher education costs, the U.S. Department of Education runs a federal direct loan program. Within the program, student borrowers can qualify for one of two types of federal student loan options: subsidized and unsubsidized.

Subsidized loans are offered to students with financial need. For these loans, the government will cover the interest while you're in school.

Unsubsidized loans are offered to students without extreme financial need. If you get an unsubsidized loan, the loan interest will accrue, even in periods of deferment.

Let's dig into how each of these loans work.

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If you're considering a private student loan you may be wondering: "Do I need a cosigner?" The answer is probably: yes. 

Why is that? Because most college students don't have an adequate credit history to qualify on their own. In fact, 92% of private student loans are cosigned (according to figures from the MeasureOne Private Student Loan Report, Dec. 2019). 

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The prospect of paying for college can be overwhelming, even for the most well-prepared students. Tuition costs continue to rise, even though parental and post-graduate incomes haven’t followed the same trend. So who should pay for college? Viewpoints vary as to whether students or their parents should be responsible.

Let's take a look at some common viewpoints. 

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Figuring out how to pay for college can feel overwhelming. It costs a ton, there are a lot of options, and the best process for putting together funding isn’t always crystal clear.

Take a deep breath — we’ve got your back.

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