Nitro Knowledge. Your Guide to Paying for College.

You've got your course schedule for the semester, your packing is all done and then, all of a sudden, you realize, "Help! I can't pay my tuition!" 

Most students fund their education through a variety of sources, like scholarships, grants, and loans. Sometimes, however, there's a last-minute financial gap—a remaining few hundred or thousand dollars that you still have left to pay. When you need help paying college fast, applying for scholarships isn't going to cut it. But there are a few things you can do. Here's our step-by-step guide on what to do when you're in a financial pinch just before your next semester.

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Incoming college freshmen face a ton of big life changes when heading off to school. Are you up for the challenge?

From learning to love to laundry, we’ve got 48 pro tips to help you stay on the right track as you weave your way through your first year in college. 

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If you've never lived alone or with a roommate, it can be hard to figure out what kind of stuff you need your first time living away from home. And in particular, a dorm room situation is unique, not only because you'll probably be bunking with a stranger, but because you often have limited space and rules around what's allowed. 

In this checklist, we're listing everything you'll need and want (and what you should leave at home) your first year in a dorm.

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Between the essays and interviews required in the college admissions process, the last thing you want to do is fill out another form. But there's one very important application you shouldn't miss: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Figuring out the financial part of attending college is not the most-fun or the easiest task, but it's a critical one if you want to avoid being saddled with debt after you graduate. So w e asked John Haggerty, a financial aid administrator at Swarthmore College in the Philadelphia area, to fill us in on the most common misconceptions people have when applying for financial aid for the first time.  

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As you prepare to pay for your next year of college, it's important to be aware of a major change to federal student loans. As The Los Angeles Times recently reported, a hike in interest rates on federal loans has been approved for 2018-19.

What does it mean to you? While a jump in interest rates is never good news, your monthly payments aren't likely to increase by more than a few dollars a month. However, this rate hike should be powerful motivation to find other ways to fund your college education besides loans. 

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Tuition rewards programs are like the frequent flyer miles of the college tuition world—another useful financial tool in the larger college funding picture.

How can you cash in?  It's pretty simple. Parents, grandparents and other family members earn reward points that can later be exchanged for lower tuition at select universities and colleges. It's what the SAGE Scholars program calls a "guaranteed scholarship."

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