Personal Finance Project – Paying for College

Personal Finance Project – Paying for College

Ways to finance your education beyond high school.


Have you thought about what you will do after your high school graduation? Do you want to go to college? What school do you want to attend? Money is probably a factor in how you answer these questions now, and how you will answer them again in a few years. It is important for you to begin thinking about what it costs to go to college- and how you might be able to pay those costs. This lesson provides information about college costs; it also introduces some options for covering these costs. You have many choices for continuing your education after high school. To make your college dreams become a reality, start learning about those choices now.


In this lesson you will identify the costs and benefits associated with college financing. You will also determine the approximate costs for a year at college.


A. If you could attend any college in the country, without having to worry about being accepted or thinking about the cost, what college would you pick? Visit Peterson’s College Planner and type the name of the school you selected in the “Quick College Search” box

toward the top of the page. After you have viewed the results, and learned what your dream college would cost, discuss your initial reactions with your class. Were you surprised by the cost, or was the amount close to what you expected? Do you think college will be worth it? That is, will the benefits you receive after you complete your college degree outweigh the costs of attending college?

College _______________________________________________

Cost – total tuition:___________________________________________

B. Next, go to and read about different financing options. Answer the questions that follow:

1. What is a loan?

2. What are the two types of loans available?

3. What are Federal Stafford Loans?

4. What is the difference between the subsidized and unsubsidized versions of these loans?

5. What is a need based grant? Name two common need based grants.

6. Give three examples of other types of student grants available.

7. What is a merit scholarship?

8. Name two requirements of academic scholarships.

9. What is an extracurricular scholarship?

10. Give an example of an extracurricular scholarship.

C. Complete the three-part You're Going to College! interactive activity. It will help you learn more about paying for college and give you a more comprehensive understanding of what those costs will be.

D. What surprised you the most about the cost of college? If you choose to continue with school, how will you finance your education? One paragraph – 8-10 sentences