Financial Readiness

First Steps to Financial Readiness
Texas Affordable Colleges Online
Saving Money for College
Student Aid Chart for Undergraduates
Financial Aid Resources (National Association of College Admission Counseling)
Texas State-Based Aid Programs
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
College Affordability Guide
College Costs: FAQs
Federal Student Aid
U.S. Government Comprehensive Student Finance Guide

Tuition Tools
Student loan comparison tool to help students and their families make informed borrowing decisions.
Simple Tuition

Financial Terms
Glossary of Terms (U.S. Dept. of Education)
Financial Aid Terms (UNT)

Tuition Calculators
Student Loan Calculator
College Financing Calculators
Interactive Savings Plan Calculators

Student Loans
Low interest loans offered by the federal government.
Applying for Federal Student Aid
Financial Aid Publications (U.S. Dept. of Education)
College Board Student Loan Calculator
Financial Aid 4caster Tool
Comparing Financial Aid Awards
College Loans: Your Strategy

Military Scholarships
Higher education funds available to ROTC students and current military dependents
Financial Aid for Military Careers
Military Financial Aid Options & Explanations
Texas Military and Veterans College Opportunities
Hazlewood Exemption for Veterans and Dependents

Higher Education for the Homeless
National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
ACT Fee Waiver Eligibility
SAT Fee Waivers
US Government Dependency Overrides for Students with Special Circumstances

Funds awarded by colleges, universities, government, or outside sources on the basis of academic merit or financial need. Scholarships are generally used to waive tuition or fees.
Dell Scholars Program
Colleges with Scholarships for Students with Disabilities
National Merit Scholarship Program
Sallie Mae Scholarship Search
Texas Colleges and Career School, Scholarships
PSAT/NMSQT Scholarship Qualifying Test AAUW Fellowships & Grants for Women
Avoiding Scholarship Scams
Federal Trade Commission: Scholarship Scams

U.S. Government Resources
Official government websites designed for students and families
Income Based Repayment Plan for Federal Loans

Education Savings Plans
Savings plans operated by a state or educational institution designed to help families save for college. Participants may receive tax benefits if basic plan requirements are met.
Guide to College Savings and 529 Plans
Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan
529 College Savings Plans

Monetary aid for higher education that does not have to be repaid
Federal Education Grant Program
Federal Pell Grant
Texas Grant Program

Work-Study Programs
Jobs (on or off campus) provided by the federal government for eligible college students with financial need.
Federal Work-Study Program

Parent Information
Financial advice from National Association for College Admission Counseling
7 Easy Steps in Applying for Financial Aid


While finances should never get in the way of a college education, Plano ISD is aware that money matters.  The two main financial considerations for higher education are tuition fees and living costs, and these can vary vastly from college to college. Careful research and preparation can help you find financial aid from many sources: the government, grants, scholarships, and the universities themselves.

While considering a college, ask yourself--

  • Can my parents afford to pay for any or all of my college experience?
  • What grants, loans, and scholarships am I eligible for?
  • How do I apply for a student loan?
  • Should I consider a private or public college?

Most students need financial help to some degree, whether from parents or outside sources. Plano ISD University Ready Financial Readiness has resources to help you best handle the financial burden of university life.