Once you’ve made the decision that you’re going to college, the other crucial questions are “How much will it cost?” and “How will I pay for it?”.

A college education is one of the major expenses that you will undertake and paying for college requires both planning and preparation. Costs vary from institution to institution. Fortunately, attending your local community college is one of the best bargains around. Community colleges have significantly lower tuition and fees than public universities or private institutions.

There are a variety of sources of money available to pay for college. Grants, scholarships and loans are available from the federal government, the State of Illinois, and your local community college. You can increase your chances of receiving financial aid by taking the time to explore all your options, planning carefully, and applying early in the college selection process.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is an agency of the State of Illinois that administers scholarship, grant, loan, and prepaid tuition programs. Their mission is to help you plan for and finance your college education. The website contains a lot of good information and we highly recommend that you spend time exploring it. Other resources that might be useful appear below.