We know finances are one of your biggest concerns as you are returning to college, here are a few resources to get you started thinking about how to pay for your degree
Financial aid includes funds in the form of grants, scholarships, work study or loans that are made available to students and their families. These funds are designed to assist students and their families with college costs.
The Financial Aid Office provides a variety of services for all GVSU students. Their website provides many resources, and counselors are available by phone, online chat, and walk-in appointments.
This video provides a step-by-step guide to filling out the FAFSA
Grand Valley has scholarships available specifically for adult and nontraditional students. While you're at this site, consider changing the search filters and see what other scholarships you may be eligible for. Consider using words like "nontraditional", "adult", and "transfer". Here is a document that lists a wide variety of scholarships for adult and veteran students, including these popular ones:
Company Deferment Plan
Many companies offer tuition assistance. Talk with your employer to see if you qualify for any educational benefits. GVSU offers a special financing program for students who qualify for their employer's tuition reimbursement program that allows the amount of tuition and fees paid for by the employer to be deferred until the end of the semester. More information, including the application and requirements, can be found on our student accounts website.
Tax Credit for Education
Lifetime Learning Tax Credit (LLC) This credit can help pay for undergraduate, graduate and professional degree courses including courses to improve job skills regardless of the number of years in the program. Eligible taxpayers may qualify for up to $2,000; $4,000 if a student in a Midwestern disaster area per tax return.
American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) is a for qualified education expenses paid for the first four years of higher education (pursuing a degree or qualified certificate). Maximum annual credit of $2500 per eligible student.
The Hope Credit: The credit can help students and parents pay part of the cost of the first two years of college. This credit generally applies to 2008 and earlier tax years. However, for tax year 2009 a special expanded Hope Credit of up to $3,600 may be claimed for a student attending college in a Midwestern disaster area as long as you do not claim an American Opportunity Tax Credit for any other student in 2009.
Enhanced benefits for 529 college savings plans: Certain computer technology purchases are now added to the list of college expenses that can be paid for by a qualified tuition program, commonly referred to as a 529 plan. For 2009 and 2010, the law expands the definition of qualified higher education expenses to include expenses for computer technology and equipment or Internet access and related services.
Tuition and fees deduction: Students and their parents may be able to deduct qualified college tuition and related expenses of up to $4,000. This deduction is an adjustment to income, which means the deduction will reduce the amount of your income subject to tax. The Tuition and Fees Deduction may be beneficial to you if you do not qualify for the American opportunity, Hope, or lifetime learning credits.
Student loan interest deduction: You may be able to deduct interest you pay on a qualified student loan. Generally, the amount you may deduct is the lesser of: $2,500 or the amount of interest you actually paid. This is a deduction taken before AGI is calculated so it will reduce the amount of income subject to tax. One cannot claim this deduction if they are listed as a dependent on someone else's return. If $600 of more of interest paid on qualified student loans during year, you will receive a form 1098-E, Student Loan Interest Statement.
Note: You cannot claim the American Opportunity and the Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits for the same student in the same year. You also cannot claim any of the credits if you claim a tuition and fees deduction for the same student in the same year. To qualify for an education credit, you must pay post-secondary tuition and certain related expenses for yourself, your spouse or your dependent. The credit may be claimed by the parent or the student, but not by both. Students who are claimed as a dependent cannot claim the credit.
Additional Tax Credit information: