Paying for College - A Financial Aid Primer

What's the best way to pay for college? There are different answers for different families. In this section, you'll find free information and assistance in finding the right answer for you and your family. We've put together a few quick links for you below, so you can start here or with any of the links to the left, which allow you to plunge right into a topic.


Ready for College or in College Now?

Learn why college is an important and affordable investment, and how the financial aid process really works.


College is Important! Start Here!
College is Affordable!
The Role of Financial Aid
Frequently Asked Questions about Financial Aid

graphic indicating new content Financial Aid Videos
Get answers to your questions on how to pay for college. Short videos explain costs to expect, the financial aid process, different types of aid and more.

A Few More Years Until You Start?

Since much of what you need to know about paying for college depends upon where you are in your education, another way to get the overview is to focus on the details most pertinent to your age group.

Parents and students - 9th and 10th grade
Parents and students - Middle School
Families of children age 11 or younger

Already Repaying Your Loan?

Several repayment options exist to meet your individual needs. For example, if you are continuing your education, have joined the military, are injured or sick and are temporarily disabled, or you are simply having trouble making your monthly payment, you may qualify for a period of deferment or forbearance. Check out the various options, programs, plans, and tools available to you.

Repayment Options
Repayment Frequently Asked Questions
Repayment Glossary
Repayment Wizard

If after you've searched our site you still have questions or if you just want to talk to a real person, you can call us toll free at 1-866-866-CFNC. Trained college financing specialists are available from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Friday. The advice is completely free, and so is the call!