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Put your college planning on track

When it comes to paying for college first look for money you won’t have to pay back (scholarships and grants). Then explore federal student loans. Finally, consider a responsible private student loan to cover the rest.


Financial aid

Student loans

Announcing the 2017 Bridging the Dream Scholarship finalists

The finalists have been chosen! This scholarship changed the lives of four students last year. Who will take home a scholarship this year? Come meet the amazing finalists and see what happens next.

Meet our finalists

2016 scholarship winners

Tools to help you plan and pay

Learn about the
1-2-3 approach

Explore how you can follow a step-by-step method to pay for college.

See the 1-2-3 approach to paying

Build a customized
financial plan for college

Our college planning calculator can estimate college costs, based on your situation.

Make a plan for college

Search for

Access more than 5 million college scholarships worth up to $24 billion.

Search for scholarships

Stay up to date

Reminder: File your FAFSA

Submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the only way to find out if you qualify for financial aid. Applications can be sent in starting October 1.

Learn about the FAFSA

Watch the Make College Happen ChallengeSM celebration

See how ten students’ creativity helped them win a total of $40,000 for college in our Make College Happen Challenge.

Check out the challenge

You could win $1,000 in our monthly Plan for CollegeSM sweepstakes

Register to use Scholarship Search for a chance to win.

Register for a chance to win

College is that next step. It would allow me to continue learning and build on the skills that I already have.

Find scholarship opportunities

Adriena P.,
Make College Happen Challenge winner

How American families pay for college


is paid by scholarships and grants

is paid by parent income and savings

is paid by student borrowing

is paid by student income and savings

is paid by parent borrowing

Source: How America Pays for College 2017, by Sallie Mae and Ipsos. Top five ways; does not total 100%.

 No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend upon the number of entries received. See official rules at