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Paying for Your College

 

 

Types of Financial Aid

 

 

Grants and Scholarships: Grants and scholarships are gift aid.  This means that this money does not need to be repaid.  But that doesn’t mean that you can spend it on whatever you want.  This gift aid is just that a gift.  So use it responsibly and on education expenses: tuition, books, supplies, housing, transportation to UTEP, etc. 

Please note that if scholarships come in after the semester has started, the scholarship may not be dispersed to you if you have an outstanding loan.  Instead, the scholarship will pay off or down the loan.  This is a benefit to you!  By removing some, or all, of the loan amount, it will reduce the amount of money you will have to pay back after you finish college.  Please contact the Scholarships Office at Mike Loya Academic Services Building, Rm. 202, Call them at (915) 747-5089, or send them an email at ..

Loans: Unlike grants and scholarships, loan aid must be repaid.  Loans are a big responsibility; so before taking any loan, review the repayment schedule and how much you will be paying back in interest.  Only take out as much as you need. 

Several different types of loans exist, including federal (Subsidized Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford, Perkins, etc.) and private loans from banks.  Student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, so again take only what you need.  Also, be wary of loans that require a co-signer.  If something happens to you and you are unable to repay, the co-signer can be required to repay the loan.

There are several repayment methods including fixed, graduated, and income-driven.  Fixed repayment means that you pay a set or fixed amount over the life of the loan.  A graduated repayment plan means that your payment will increase over the life of the loan.  And an income-driven repayment plan allows you to pay back your loan based on your earnings.  Be thoughtful about which repayment program you choose.  You will end up paying more interest with a graduated and income-driven loan repayment plan than with a fixed one. 

The most important thing is to never miss a payment.  Loan servicers often provide auto-payment options to keep you from missing a payment.  Use this service only if you are certain you will have the full payment amount in your account.  Your loan servicer may offer to consolidate your loans.  Review all terms and conditions before making any choice.

Nonetheless, college loans can be a good investment.  They tend to be low interest and provide you with the opportunity to increase your earning potential with funds to pay for college.  See a breakdown of how taking loans can increase your earnings at Graduate On Time and On Budget.  For more information regarding loans contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Work-study: Work-study at UTEP is employment, on and off campus, for qualified students who are in need of earning to help pay for educational expenses.  For students who qualify, work-study can be a great opportunity to do fun and interesting work that will aid in your future employment, while keeping you closely connected to the university. 

To be eligible for work-study you must: (1) be a degree seeking student; (2) be enrolled full-time in the fall and/or spring semester(s) and enrolled in at least 3 hours in any summer session; eligible to receive federal or state financial aid; (3) meet employment eligibility; (4) meet Satisfactory Academic Progress.  For further details see UTEP Work-Study.