Student Loans Without Cosigner

We are well aware that attending college will be one of the largest expenses you can expect during your lifetime. There have been numerous statistics produced by various educational bodies and these show that an average student attending a four-year institution can expect to pay at least $10,000-$15,000, and up to as much as $100,000-$200,000. The price will typically reflect the subject of study and location of the college.

With education costing so much, and the fact that the vast majority of students have no credit background or viable income, is it possible to obtain a guaranteed student loan without a cosigner?

It is very much possible, but you will need to apply for the variety of grants, scholarships and other forms of gifts and monies available to students. I would suggest that your first course of action would be to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form of student aid is specifically geared towards graduates and undergraduates who are looking to attend school half time or more.

The FAFSA will then take into consideration the information you have supplied and use a formula to calculate the expected family contribution (EFC). Based on this information it will be determined how much financial aid you are eligible for, and also what amounts will be made up from grants and scholarships, as well as the overall percentage of your education that will need to be covered by loans.

The EFC will typically be based against certain financial and demographic information pertaining to your household. The other factors that will need to be considered are the size of your household, the state in which you are residing, how many members are in your household who will be attending college, and finally a list of yours and your parents assets.

The final calculation will be made by subtracting your expected family contribution from the actual cost of attendance for your chosen college. The financial aid office will then attempt to cover any remaining amounts, if there are any, by additional financial aid funding.

The forms of funding available include:

Pell Grants - This is a type of gift aid that is made available to students you have yet to achieve a bachelor's degree. The amount of money on offer from a Pell Grant will very much depend on your individual circumstances, as well as your tuition costs, and whether you are attending college full or part-time. On average you can expect to awarded from $200-$2,000 with a Pell Grant.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) - This type of grant can allow you to pay for college without a cosigner, but is typically only awarded to those with an extreme or extraordinary financial requirement. The range of aid on offer will usually be the same as with a Pell Grant, and it is recommended that you apply for both anyway.

However, FSEOG's do have one limitation, and that is the grant amount can be reduced if you have been approved to receive any other financial college aid. The same, however, cannot be said for a Pell Grant. It is also a great idea to apply for a FSEOG immediately, as many participating colleges will quickly run out of money that should be awarded with this scheme.

Work study - You may also choose to complete a federally subsidized work study program. This will allow you, as an undergraduate or graduate, to work while you are still in school. By attending a work study program it is possible to reduce the required amount of college loans.

Many students may seek jobs on campus, although it is entirely possible to work for a private non-profit organization or public state agency while you are studying at college. You will generally only be paid minimum wage and your financial award letter will state the maximum number of hours you can work.

Perkins student loan - This is a type of loan offered to students which have extremely favourable terms and low interest rates. These loans are typically offered on a first come first served basis, and you usually have up to 10 years to repay the loan. However, the loan can be completely forgiven if you work in a specific law enforcement job, you are completing military service in what is considered a hostile area, you work in a designated public or non-profit family service position, or you are employed in a specified teaching position.

Stafford loan - This is very similar to a Perkins loan, although the interest rates offered will not be as good. The loan is variable and will adjust on July 1st every year. You may be offered a subsidized Stafford loan if you qualify based on your financial needs, or an unsubdisized loan, if no financial need has been demonstrated.

A subsidized loan will need designated payments by the student six months after graduation, whereas you will need to start making payments on an unsubsidized loan from the day it is disbursed. Both loans allow a student 10 to 25 years to repay the amount borrowed.