Resource Center

Paying for College Starts Here

Tools and resources to help you finance your education.

Getting Started

  • Apply for Scholarships

    Scholarships are a great place to start, since they don’t need to be repaid and there’s no limit on how many you can apply to.  Some scholarships require essays and recommendations, but there are also thousands of easy scholarships, such as our Lending Tree “Student Loan Hero” scholarship

    Give us a few details about who you are and Niche can create a customized list of hundreds of best-fit scholarships. 

    Find College Scholarships
  • Complete the FAFSA

    FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is a form available through the U.S. Department of Education that determines your financial need. Completing the FAFSA form is completely free and should be done by anyone planning to go to college.

    The federal government provides more than $120 billion in grants, loans, and work-study funds each year. The purpose of the form is to calculate your expected financial need based on your current financial situation. Completing the FAFSA will unlock federal sources of funding to contribute to your tuition, room & board, books, and supplies. Many states also use the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for state-specific aid like grants.

    Complete Your FAFSA
  • Start with Federal Loans 

    Federal Loans (also called public loans) are loans that come from the federal government. In this case, the government is the lender. These loans typically offer more generous borrower protections than private student loans and often have lower, fixed interest rates. 

    Most undergraduates see a combination of direct subsidized and direct unsubsidized loans in their Financial Aid Award Letter.

    The Difference Between Federal and Private Loans
  • Compare Private Student Loan Options 

    If scholarships, grants and federal loans aren’t enough, private student loans could help you cover college expenses. Pay attention to factors like interest rates and when you’ll be expected to begin repaying the loan. Our loan comparison tool will help you see what sets each lender apart and compare options available for your college. 

    Use our loans comparison tool to research lenders and find the best option for you.

    See Loan Options for Your School
  • Consider a Work Study, Part-Time Job or Internship

    Any of these options can help reduce the amount of money you’ll need to borrow and help you pay for college expenses while you’re still in school. 

    We’ve partnered with WayUp to help you search for the paid internship and job opportunities that are right for you. Sign-up to start looking for opportunities that match your major and career goals.

    Search WayUp for Internship & Job Opportunities
  • Congratulations! 

    You're on your way to a fully financed education.

We’ve Done the Homework

See our picks for the best student loan options.

Find Student Loans