You may have decided that life behind the lens is the one for you and are ready to pursue your photography degree. Whether you’ve decided to get your degree online or at a traditional physical campus, you’re still going to need to cover the cost of tuition and the various books and equipment you’ll need over the course of your college career. Once you figure out the actual costs of school, you might feel overwhelmed but not to worry. There are plenty of financial aid options available to students. Through a combination of federal grants and loans, private loans and scholarship opportunities, you’ll be one your way to the darkroom in no time, equipped with a camera and your photography degree.
Federal grants and loans should be your first option. You’ll need to apply to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. This document will determine if you’re eligible for the Federal Pell Grant and which student loan is appropriate to disburse.
The amount awarded by the Federal Pell Grant depends on your financial needs, the cost to attend the school of your choice and whether you are a full or part-time student. The Pell Grant is given for a total of 12 semesters and you’ll never have to repay these funds.
Federal Student Loans, however, do need to be repaid. There are two types of student loans and you can receive both at the same time. The Stafford Loan comes in Subsidized and Unsubsidized; the difference between the two has to do with interest.
With the Subsidized Stafford Loan, the Federal government is responsible for the interest the loan incurs while you attend our program. The Unsubsidized Stafford Loan holds you, the student, responsible for the interest from the moment the loan is disbursed. Amounts for these loans are based on class level (freshman, sophomore, etc.) and attendance status; the award amount increases with class level. These loans are both distributed based on a student’s tax status as dependent or independent.
Private loans are another way to cover school expenses, but these should only be sought if the federal grants and loans are unavailable to you. This is because private loans are awarded based on an individual’s credit; therefore they carry more risk and tend to have higher interest rates. Scholarship opportunities vary depending on the school or institution endorsing them. Most camera companies, like Nikon have annual student photo contests- that’s a great way to get your expenses covered and your photos seen by a wider audience.
There’s never been a better time to continue your education, so get snapping on your photography degree today.
Get information on a photography degree by using the form on this page. School representatives will guide you through the process and answer an questions you might have about your future photography degree.
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