If you’re a college student headed home for winter break, your mind is likely on sleeping in, spending time with family, and opening gifts – not on tuition payments. However, second semester will be here before you know it. Many families have faced financial challenges over the past year and may need help paying for college, books, or campus housing. If you’re coming up short for second semester, there could be options available.

Contact your school’s financial aid office.

Send an email or call the financial aid office to determine exactly how much funding you may need, and whether there are options available to help you. This is especially important if your family’s financial situation has changed since you completed your FAFSA. Some colleges offer payment plans for tuition, or there may be funds earmarked for certain circumstances.

Review your initial financial aid offer.

Did you decline any financial aid or loans at the start of the year because you thought you wouldn’t need them? If so, they may still be available. When you speak to a financial aid representative, they can help determine if any prior options are still available.

Find a job that accommodates your schedule.

While academics should be your number one priority, working part time could help offset some of your college costs – especially if you set up a payment plan as mentioned above. Evening and weekend hours that many traditional employees avoid are perfect for college students.

Consider private student loans.

Private loans are made by banks, credit unions, and state-based or state-affiliated organizations, and have terms and conditions that are set by the lender. Because offerings will vary, it’s important to review the rates, terms, and conditions before applying for a private student loan.

Student Choice has partnered with hundreds of credit unions to provide a private student lending solution from your local, trusted financial institution. Unlike other for-profit lenders, we always have your best interests in mind. Our private student loans come with great rates, flexible repayment terms, and educational resources including one-on-one application assistance and counseling. You can learn more about our private student loans, find a credit union, and apply easily online.

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