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Paying For College at Carrington College

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Financial Services & Aid

Your education is a big investment, but like most investments, it takes some amount of money up front. A new career can transform your life, so paying for education shouldn’t stand in the way.

Carrington College has an entire team here to help you find ways to make your education more affordable. We participate in most financial assistance programs, both federal and state, as well as private financing. Each program has different requirements and application instructions. Student loans, grants, and scholarships are available to those who qualify.

Learn more about how to pay for college and what resources are available.

How Much Does it Cost to Attend Carrington College?

Paying for education is an investment in your future and all students’ journeys are unique. Tuition costs vary by program, degree conferred, campus, and time to complete. For example, a program that results in an Associate Degree and takes three years to complete will cost more than a one-year program resulting in a certificate of completion. Some programs may also require additional costs like background checks or health screenings. Complete information about the cost of attending Carrington College can be found in the academic catalog.

You can also get a general idea of costs of attending Carrington College and how much financial aid you may be eligible for through the Net Price Calculator. The calculator provides only a rough estimate of financial aid and is only as accurate as the data entered into it, but can prove helpful as you start to think of how to pay for college.

Carrington College applicants are encouraged to meet with a Financial Services Advisor prior to enrollment so that eligibility for financial assistance may be determined. This practice enables applicants to evaluate their options for financing. “Funding Your Education,” which explains each of the federal financial aid programs and is published by the U. S. Department of Education, is available from the Financial Services Department.

Paying For College

Earning a higher education and paying for higher education can feel like two gargantuan tasks. While some students may be able to pay for college without assistance, 79% of first-time, full-time students at 2-year postsecondary institutions were awarded some type of financial aid in academic year 2018-19, according to the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics. For this calculation, student financial aid includes any federal and private loans to students and federal, state/local, and institutional grants. Student loans include only loans made directly to students; they do not include Parent PLUS Loans or other loans made directly to parents.

This financial aid can come in the form of:

  • Grants — money that does not need to be repaid and is usually awarded based on financial need.
  • Loans — funds that are borrowed to pay for education and need to be repaid over time.
  • Scholarships — gifts to help pay for education that do not need to be repaid but may have different requirements outside of financial need.

Grants, loans, and scholarships can come from a wide range of sources, including federal or state governments, private financial institutions, or private groups.

This guide will help you understand how to pay for college and what financial aid programs you may be eligible for including:

  • Federal grants
  • Federal loans
  • Federal work study programs
  • State-specific financial aid
  • Veteran benefits
  • Private loans
  • Carrington-sponsored loans and scholarships
  • Private scholarships

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Federal Student Aid

There are three categories of federal financial assistance: grants, loans, and Federal Work-Study.

Students are eligible for these types of aid if they:

  • Are enrolled as a certificate or degree-seeking student.
  • Are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens.
  • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Make satisfactory academic progress toward completing their program.
  • Are not in default on a Federal Perkins/NDSL, Federal Direct, Federal Stafford/FFEL, Federal SLS, Income Contingent Loan, or Federal PLUS Loan received at any institution.
  • Do not owe refunds on a Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG, Academic Competitiveness Grant, National SMART Grant, or State Student Incentive Grant received at any institution.
  • Have a high school diploma or recognized equivalent.

Federal student aid is designed to help all students obtain postsecondary education. There is no income cut-off to qualify for federal student aid. Many factors are taken into account, including the size of your family and your year in school.

Carrington is an eligible institution approved by the Department of Education to participate in the following programs:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Direct Student Loan
  • Federal Parental Loan for Undergraduate Students (FPLUS)
  • Federal Work Study Program (campus participation varies)

Federal Grants

Carrington is an eligible institution approved by the Department of Education for both Federal Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants.

Federal Pell Grants

Federal Pell Grants help fund post-secondary education for undergraduate students who have not previously earned bachelor’s degrees. Grants are need-based and do not require repayment if the student remains in school during that term. For many students, these grants provide a foundation of financial aid to which aid from other sources may be added. The maximum grant for the 2021-2022 award year is $6,495.

The actual amount of the grant is based on the cost of attendance, number of hours enrolled, Federal Pell Grant regulations, and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) found on the FAFSA®. FAFSA® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Education.

Learn more about Federal Pell Grants .

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

FSEOGs provide supplemental funds to Federal Pell Grant-eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional need. Exceptional need is defined as the lowest expected family contribution per federal need analysis methodology. Because FSEOG funds are limited, students should apply for these grants as early as possible.

You can typically receive between $100 and $600 a year, depending on your financial need, when you apply, the amount of other aid you get, and the availability of funds. These funds do not need to be repaid.

Learn about the FSEOG program and contact Carrington’s financial aid office to learn more.

Federal Loans

Students may need to borrow additional funds to pay for education beyond what a grant can provide. For many students, that means they turn to federal loans. Students can borrow money from the U.S. government to pay for college. These funds must be repaid over time, often with interest. The government provides two loan types: Federal Direct Loans and Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (FPLUS).

Federal Direct Student Loans

Federal Direct Student loans are available to students to help pay for college. Amounts dispersed vary depending on the students dependency status, their financial need, and if the loan is subsidized or unsubsidized.

A subsidized federal loan is available to students who demonstrate financial need. Because the loan is subsidized, the loan will not accrue interest when a student is enrolled in school at least half-time, for the first six months after leaving school, and during a period of deferment.

An unsubsidized federal loan is available to all students, regardless of need. This loan accrues interest from the time it is originated until it is paid in full.

Monthly payments are based on aggregate borrowing; the minimum monthly payment can vary. Typical repayment is completed within 10 years. However, other repayment options are available that may be affordable for you. Students who leave school or drop below half-time status must contact their lender(s) to establish repayment schedules.

Federal Parental Loans for Undergraduate Students (FPLUS)

These FPLUS loans allow parents to borrow money for their dependent’s college. These loans operate similar to direct loans, but there is no subsidy available. The interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2021 and before July 1, 2022 is fixed at 6.28%. Repayment typically begins within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed.

Federal Work-Study Program

The Federal Work-Study program enables students who demonstrate financial need to earn wages to assist with paying for their education expenses through part-time education-related or community-service employment. Students earn at least the current hourly minimum wage by working at Carrington for nonprofit agencies or for-profit businesses within the community.

Carrington can help eligible students locate jobs, though certain restrictions apply. Unlike traditional sources of income, FWS earnings are exempt from the subsequent year’s expected family contribution calculations. Students must complete the FAFSA® to be considered for FWS funds.

Veteran Benefits for Students

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers tuition benefits for military members, spouses and children. If you believe you are eligible for Veterans Administration (VA) benefits, please contact the Financial Aid Office at your local campus. You may also get information on the Carrington programs that are approved for VA funding through the VA’s WEAMS Institution Search tool.

Students who may qualify for veteran’s education benefits should notify their Carrington Enrollment Advisor/Representative and Financial Services Advisor regarding eligibility as far in advance of their scheduled class start date as possible.

Private Student Loans

If you are unable to cover the costs of college with federal aid or out-of-pocket payments, you may need to take out private student loans. Private student loans are non-federal loans made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or a school.

Learn more about the differences between federal and private loans.

Choosing a Private Student Loan Provider

When choosing a private student loan lender, there are a few factors to consider. First, gather a wide variety of lenders, including banks, credit unions and online platforms. Consider factors such as fees, interest rates and length of repayment, along with options to pause payments if necessary.

You may need to apply for private student loans with a co-signer to help establish your creditworthiness or obtain a lower interest rate or repayment terms.


Scholarships are gifts to help pay for college, meaning they don’t need to be repaid. Unlike grants, scholarships may be available outside of financial need. Local organizations may provide scholarships, as well as interest and affiliate groups related to your program of study.

Carrington High School Scholarship

Graduating high school seniors or those who have graduated high school during the most recent academic year may be eligible for the Carrington High School Scholarship of $1,000 to apply toward tuition.

Scholarship applicants must meet the following criteria to qualify:

  • Satisfy Carrington admission requirements
  • Begin classes by December 31
  • Submit high school transcripts evidencing a CGPA of 2.0 or better on a 4.0 scale
  • Maintain a CGPA of 2.0 or better on a 4.0 scale for continued eligibility

As well as submit the following by the published deadline:

  • Completed scholarship application
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • 50-150 word essay about why the student is interested in a career in the chosen field

Carrington College scholarship awards cannot exceed tuition charges and will be applied directly to those charges. In the event that a student’s tuition charges are less than the scheduled scholarship award, the scholarship will be reduced to the amount of the tuition charge. In the event of early withdrawal, the scholarship award will be limited to the same percentage of tuition earned in accordance with the college’s refund policy. The deadline for submission of scholarship applications and accompanying materials is September 30 of the graduation year.

Applying for Student Aid

While the process of applying for financial aid may vary depending on type of aid, lending or awarding institution, or other factors, many times, the first step is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).

For private loans, scholarships, or other awards, check with the provider’s website and follow application processes.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®)

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a central document that can help students apply for assistance for a number of programs, including Federal student aid, state-specific programs, and Institutional financial options. The purpose of the FAFSA® is to determine the amount of assistance for which students are eligible. This analysis takes into account factors such as income, assets, the number of family members in a household, and the number of family members who are enrolled in college.

To fill out the FAFSA® form you will want to:

  • Create an FSA ID: This username and password combination allows you to sign your FAFSA® form electronically. Your FSA ID also can be used to access the myStudentAid app, sign loan contracts, and access certain information online.
  • Gather important documents: The FAFSA® will ask for identifying and financial information. Before filling out the form make sure you have your social security number, your parents’ social security numbers, federal tax information for you or your parents, information on cash and assets such as property, and more. Be sure to keep these records as you may need them again.

FAFSA® forms are available online on Oct. 1 for the next school year. Students may come in person to their respective Financial Services office to complete the FAFSA® or renewal. These forms can also be completed online at

What Happens Next?

Upon submission of the FAFSA®, students will be sent a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR should be checked for accuracy and any necessary corrections should be made as soon as possible. The SAR will also indicate if additional information is needed to confirm eligibility. Once the SAR has been determined to be complete, a financial aid award letter will be sent to the student which will state the student need (education cost), family contribution, amount of grants awarded, and the amount of loan monies available, if needed.

In order to receive unsubsidized or subsidized loan funds, students must complete a Master Promissory Note and return it to the lender along with other required documents. Funds are then dispersed by the Student Accounts Manager, as described in the Award Letter, to the students school ledger card.

When to Apply

Students should apply for financial aid prior to or during their enrollment process at Carrington. Completing the FAFSA® is often a part of applying for aid through most application portals.

Tips on Repaying Student Loans

The U.S. Department of Education has many resources available to help you manage the repayment of your student loans.

They provide information on:

Financial Aid Resources

When starting to look for financial aid, the following pages may be helpful.

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Financial Aid FAQ

What is financial aid?

Financial aid refers to any funds available to you and/or your parents to help offset the cost of higher education. These funds can come from private, government or institutional resources.

Who should apply for financial aid?

You should apply for financial aid if you need assistance with the cost of higher education. You are eligible to apply regardless of your income level. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

What is the FAFSA®?

The FAFSA® is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid that you must complete if you wish to apply for financial aid. This application can be accessed online using this link:

What is the verification process?

Verification is the process the college follows to confirm the accuracy of the information you reported on your FAFSA®. If your application is selected for verification by the Department of Education, the college will contact you to request additional information, such as copies of your and your parent(s)/spouse’s (if you are married) Federal Tax forms or W-2 forms or other financial documents.

Am I considered a dependent or independent student?

It depends. You must answer a series of dependency questions outlined by the Department of Education. Answers you provide will determine if you’re considered to be an independent or dependent student for federal student aid purposes. If you are independent, you do not have to provide information about your parents on the FAFSA®. If you are dependent, you must provide information about your parents on the FAFSA®.

What do I need to do to keep getting financial aid while I’m a student?

You must successfully complete course work and meet satisfactory academic progress in your program of study in order to receive and maintain your eligibility for financial aid. Also, Financial aid plans need to be updated every academic year.

Where am I going to get most of the money to pay for college?

Most students get the majority of their funding from Federal Financial Aid to cover program costs. If financial aid does not cover your program costs in full, then you must select a secondary (or alternative) option to cover your remaining balance.

What other options do I have to pay for college?

Other resources to pay for college include institutional loans, employer tuition reimbursement, military education benefits, local, community and private organizations, and scholarships or grants.

Who do I contact if I change my address or telephone number?

Notify your college in writing within 10 days of any changes. If you have obtained federal student loans and need to notify your loan servicer of your new address, you should contact the loan servicer directly to make the change.

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FAFSA® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Education.