How to Apply for College | A Step by Step Guide

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Abigail Eun
Abigail Eun
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Abigail Eun is a freelance writer and personal finance expert. Through diligent research and continuous learning, she has honed her knowledge in budgeting, saving, investing, and debt management. Abigail is passionate about helping people get their finances in order. She believes that everyone should have access to the information they need to make sound financial decisions. Her goal is to provide clear and concise information that is easy to understand.

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Daniel Kahn
Daniel Kahn
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Daniel is the co-founder and COO at Sparrow. Daniel is responsible for the day-to-day operations of a company, working closely with other members of the executive team to develop and implement strategies to support the growth and success of the company.
Daniel was a 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30 lister in the Education category.  Daniel was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina and graduated from Duke University in 2020.
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Camden Ford
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Camden leads Sparrow’s business operations – everything from product management to business analytics. After graduating Cum Laude from Duke University where he studied Civil Engineering, Camden worked as a Consultant for A.T. Kearney where he worked in their Strategic Operations practice. With a strong background in analytics, Camden strives to deliver data-driven conclusions and insights.

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Updated
January 30, 2024

Once the summer wraps up, it’s the busiest time of the year for high school seniors: college application season.

From juggling deadlines, to standardized tests, to finalizing your college list, the process of applying for college can become quite tumultuous and hectic.

If you need a breakdown on how to apply for college, here’s seven easy steps you can follow to guide you through the process.

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Step One: Visit Colleges

Many students fixate on the academic fit, student culture, or prestige of colleges when forming their college list, often without considering where they will be living for the next four years of their life.

Visiting prospective colleges in-person is an important step to take when figuring out what you’re looking for in a college geographically, spatially, and climate-wise.

For example, if you’re from a big city and the college you’re visiting is in a tiny, suburban town, consider how adaptable you might be with the change. If you’ve grown up in sunny weather your entire life, consider how altered climates might impact you.

Visiting colleges is also a great way to get a feel for campuses, interact with students, and attempt to envision your four years there. After all, seeing pictures of a college campus on the Internet versus being there in person are incomparable.

If visiting colleges is not an option for you, opt-in for virtual tours that the college offers, and contact the admissions office to connect you with current students who can share their experiences with you.

Step Two: Take the ACT or SAT

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many universities became test-optional for the application cycle, and some even became test-optional permanently.

Test-optional is when the student is allowed to submit their college application sans standardized testing scores, without any disadvantage to their strength as an applicant.

The UC System has gone test-optional permanently, Harvard extended their test-optional policy to 2026, and now MIT has gone back to requiring standardized test scores.

Because the test-optional policy varies from school to school, be sure to determine which schools require standardized test scores so you’ll know whether or not you will need to take the ACT or SAT.

Despite the test-optional policy, students are highly encouraged to take the ACT or SAT if their circumstances allow it. A strong standardized testing score is a beneficial addition to your application, and if the schools you are applying to do not require test scores, a weak score can’t hurt your application.

When deciding between the SAT and ACT, take a timed, “real-life” attempt at a practice test for both the SAT and the ACT and see which test you do better on.

Here’s a breakdown of the structural differences between the ACT and the SAT.

Source: The College Board

Step Three: Narrow Down Your College List

Once you’ve attended both in-person and virtual college tours, spoken with students who are attending potential college options, and made a list of prospective schools, it’s time to narrow down your list.

Group your schools into safety schools, target schools, and reach schools.

Safety Schools

Target Schools

Reach Schools

A school that you’re guaranteed to get into. This can mean that:You are well above the 75th percentile for average student statistics (GPA, SAT or ACT score, etc.)

Acceptance rate is around 30%.

A school that you are a competitive applicant for, but admission is not guaranteed. This can mean that:Your GPA, class rank, and test scores are within the 50th percentile.

Acceptance rate is around 15-20%.

A competitive school that is extremely selective and admission is unlikely. This can mean that:Your GPA, class rank and test scores are lower than average.

Acceptance rate less than ~15%.

Make note of the application fees and deadlines that are specific to each school. Submitting applications can cost from $35-$90, but if you qualify for financial aid, application fees may be subsidized.

Step Four: Complete the FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens on October 1st and closes on June 30th. You must submit the FAFSA to be eligible to be considered for federal financial aid, such as grants, loans, and scholarships.

Almost all schools in the United States require students to submit the FAFSA to gauge a student’s financial need and award financial aid packages.

Financial aid is disbursed on a first-come, first-serve basis, so be sure to submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after the October 1st open date the year prior to when you plan to enroll.

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Step Five: Make Note of Application Deadlines

Colleges have individual application deadlines that you should stay on top of. Create a Google sheet with the schools you are applying to, how you are applying, and which deadline to meet.

Generally, there are three ways to apply to a college: early action, early decision, and regular decision. You should note that individual research must be conducted to familiarize yourself with a school’s application processes.

  • Early action: You submit your application earlier than the regular deadline (usually due in the fall of your senior year) and hear whether you’ve been accepted or not from the schools earlier in the year. Early action is not binding and may increase the chances of being admitted.
  • Early decision: You submit your application earlier than the regular deadline and must commit to the school if you are accepted. Students generally apply early decision if they are set on attending a specific school. Students cannot apply early decision to multiple schools since it is a binding agreement.
  • Regular decision: You submit your application by the regular deadline (usually in the winter) and hear back from schools within the regular time frame.

Sample Way to Organize Application Deadlines:

College

Type of Application

Deadline

Yale University

Early Decision

November 1st

University of Chicago

Early Action

November 2nd

Wellesley College

Regular Decision

January 8th

University of Southern California

Regular Decision

January 15th

Step Six: Get Your Application Materials Ready

Here’s a handy list of application materials you will need when applying for college:

  1. High school transcripts: You can access your transcripts from your high school. Schools will usually ask for either an unofficial or official transcript. An unofficial transcript is usually available online and can be easily accessed by you. An official transcript is sent from your high school to the requesting institution directly.
  2. Letters of recommendations (usually two): Colleges will usually ask for two recommendation letters. It is encouraged that students submit one letter of recommendation from a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math) teacher and the other from a Humanities/Social Sciences teacher. If there is the option to submit additional letters of recommendation, take advantage of this. When asking teachers for recommendation letters, be sure to ask early so that they have ample time to write a stellar letter.
  3. Personal statement essay: Your personal statement essay is the main college essay that you will apply to every college with. It should describe an important aspect of yourself that you wish to highlight.
  4. List of extracurriculars with descriptions: Keep your resume handy for the extracurriculars section of your college application. You will be asked to detail your extracurricular activities, highlight any awards or leadership positions, and describe your roles.
  5. Test scores: AP Test score(s), SAT/ACT score

Be sure to check with individual schools for specific application requirements.

Step Seven: Submit Your Application

You can submit all of your college applications online through common applications, which allow you to send your application to multiple schools from one portal.

  1. The most popular common application is the Common App, which is used by 900+ colleges.
  2. The Coalition for College is another common application that is partnered with 150+ colleges.
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Bonus Steps

While not necessarily part of the college application process, these last few steps are important in actually getting to college.

Step 8: Review Your Financial Aid Awards

Congratulations! You’ve been accepted into college and have received multiple financial aid awards to consider and compare.

You’ll want to find the net price that you’ll have to pay for the school year and compare your aid offers. The net price is the total that you pay for the school year once all scholarships, grants, and loans have been factored in.

First, create a spreadsheet with a column for each of the schools that you were accepted to.

You’ll want to record the cost of attendance, the amount of free aid that you’ve received, the amount you’ll have to borrow, and the cost of attendance when subtracted from the free aid. For an example of what this can look like, check out this table.

Take note of the following considerations: Which school offered the most financial aid? What is my family’s financial budget? Which financial aid offers are reasonable to accept, and which are not?

If you have any questions about your financial aid offer, contact the school’s financial aid office for assistance.

Step Nine: Accept the Admissions Offer and Put in Your Deposit

After much consideration, you’ve finally decided which school you want to attend from the extensive list of schools you were offered admission from.

Though it may differ from school to school, the standard acceptance deadline is May 1st, which is National College Decision Day.

When you do decide which offer to accept, you will likely be required to put a deposit down to secure your spot. Your school should instruct you on how to pay your deposit, so keep a lookout in your email for the information.

Step Ten: Explore College Financing Options

Scholarships, grants, and student loans are the three main ways that students cover the cost of tuition.

  1. Scholarships- Scholarships are a form of gift aid that is awarded based on merit and personal achievements. You do not need to pay back any scholarships that you receive. All students can apply for scholarships and win free money for school. Be sure to look into the scholarships that your school offers; the applications for these scholarships are usually due by the start of the school year. Here are some of our favorite scholarship search engines:
    1. Sallie Mae
    2. Scholarships.com
    3. Chegg.com
  2. Grants- Grants are another form of gift aid that are awarded based on financial need. Your financial aid package should include grants that you are eligible for, and you should accept all the grants that you receive because they do not have to be paid back. Outside of the grants that you’ve received from your financial aid offer, you can apply to grants that are offered by the federal government, your state, private organizations, and your school.
  3. Federal Student Loans- Federal student loan offers should show up in your financial aid package. These are loans offered by the federal government and generally offer better terms for undergraduate borrowers as opposed to private student loans. Federal student loans are usually unsubsidized or subsidized. With subsidized loans, the federal government will pay the interest that accrues while you are in school. So, when you graduate, the balance on your subsidized loan will be the exact amount you borrowed. With unsubsidized loans, the government will not cover the interest that accrues. So, when you graduate, the unsubsidized loan balance will be the amount you originally borrowed plus the interest that accrued while you were in school. If given the choice between an unsubsidized and a subsidized loan, go with the subsidized loan. Be sure to give priority to your federal student loans and turn to private student loans as the last resort.
  4. Private Student Loans- If your federal financial aid doesn’t cover all of your tuition, consider applying for private student loans. Private student loans are offered by private organizations, like banks and financial institutions. These should be your last resort options, as interest rates are usually higher for private student loans and repayment plans tend to be less flexible. When you’re looking for private student loans, Sparrow can help. Sparrow offers a free form that once submitted, matches you with private student loans you pre-qualify for. Sign up today.
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Ascent
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Ascent’s undergraduate and graduate student loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills, or DR Bank, each Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: www.AscentFunding.com/Ts&Cs. Rates are effective as of 4/1/2024 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: AscentFunding.com/Rates. 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student must meet certain minimum credit criteria. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner. Lowest rates require interest-only payments, the shortest loan term, a cosigner, and are only available for our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores. Actual APR offered may be higher or lower than the repayment examples above, based on the amount of time you spend in school and any grace period you have before repayment begins.

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Variable APR

Ascent’s undergraduate and graduate student loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills, or DR Bank, each Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: www.AscentFunding.com/Ts&Cs. Rates are effective as of 4/1/2024 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: AscentFunding.com/Rates. 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student must meet certain minimum credit criteria. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner. Lowest rates require interest-only payments, the shortest loan term, a cosigner, and are only available for our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores. Actual APR offered may be higher or lower than the repayment examples above, based on the amount of time you spend in school and any grace period you have before repayment begins.

6.22 - 16.08%
lender LendKey logo
LendKey
Minimum credit score
660
Fixed APR
Fixed APR

1 – Terms and Conditions Apply

Loan products, terms, and benefits may be modified or discontinued by participating lenders at any time without notice. Rates displayed are reserved for the most creditworthy consumers who enroll to make automatic monthly payments. Your initial rate will be determined after a review of your application and credit profile. Variable rates may increase after consummation. You must be either a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident in an eligible state and from an eligible school, and meet the lender’s credit and income requirements to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account, a minimum share account deposit, and the payment of any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to apply with, and accept a loan offered from, a credit union lender. If you are not a member of the credit union lender, you may apply and become a member during the loan application process if you meet the lender’s eligibility criteria. Applying with a creditworthy cosigner may result in a better chance of loan approval and/or lower interest rate. Loans for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not available via LendKey.com.

2 – Cosigner Release

Some lenders participating on LendKey.com may offer the benefit of cosigner release. Cosigner release is subject to lender approval. In order to qualify, the borrower, alone, must meet the following requirements: (1) Make the required number of consecutive, on-time full principal and interest payments as indicated in the borrower’s credit agreement during the repayment period (excluding interest-only payments) immediately prior to the request. Any period of forbearance will reset the repayment clock; (2) The account cannot be in delinquent status; (3) The borrower must provide proof of income indicating that he/she meets the income requirements and pass a credit review demonstrating that he/she has a satisfactory credit history and the ability to assume full responsibility of loan repayment; (4) No bankruptcies or foreclosures in the last sixty months; and (5) No loan defaults.

3 – Autopay Rate Reduction

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments.

4 – AutoPay Discount & Lowest Interest Rate

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised APR is only available for loan terms of 10 years and is reserved for the highest qualified applicants, taking into consideration the applicant’s credit and other factors.

4.39 - 10.39%
Variable APR
Variable APR

1 – Terms and Conditions Apply

Loan products, terms, and benefits may be modified or discontinued by participating lenders at any time without notice. Rates displayed are reserved for the most creditworthy consumers who enroll to make automatic monthly payments. Your initial rate will be determined after a review of your application and credit profile. Variable rates may increase after consummation. You must be either a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident in an eligible state and from an eligible school, and meet the lender’s credit and income requirements to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account, a minimum share account deposit, and the payment of any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to apply with, and accept a loan offered from, a credit union lender. If you are not a member of the credit union lender, you may apply and become a member during the loan application process if you meet the lender’s eligibility criteria. Applying with a creditworthy cosigner may result in a better chance of loan approval and/or lower interest rate. Loans for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not available via LendKey.com.

2 – Cosigner Release

Some lenders participating on LendKey.com may offer the benefit of cosigner release. Cosigner release is subject to lender approval. In order to qualify, the borrower, alone, must meet the following requirements: (1) Make the required number of consecutive, on-time full principal and interest payments as indicated in the borrower’s credit agreement during the repayment period (excluding interest-only payments) immediately prior to the request. Any period of forbearance will reset the repayment clock; (2) The account cannot be in delinquent status; (3) The borrower must provide proof of income indicating that he/she meets the income requirements and pass a credit review demonstrating that he/she has a satisfactory credit history and the ability to assume full responsibility of loan repayment; (4) No bankruptcies or foreclosures in the last sixty months; and (5) No loan defaults.

3 – Autopay Rate Reduction

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments.

4 – AutoPay Discount & Lowest Interest Rate

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised APR is only available for loan terms of 10 years and is reserved for the highest qualified applicants, taking into consideration the applicant’s credit and other factors.

6.09 - 11.33%
lender Earnest logo
Earnest
Minimum credit score
650
Fixed APR
Fixed APR

Auto Pay Discount Disclosure

You can take advantage of the Auto Pay interest rate reduction by setting up and maintaining active and automatic ACH withdrawal of your loan payment. The interest rate reduction for Auto Pay will be available only while your loan is enrolled in Auto Pay. Interest rate incentives for utilizing Auto Pay may not be combined with certain private student loan repayment programs that also offer an interest rate reduction. For multi-party loans, only one party may enroll in Auto Pay.

Student Loan Origination (Private Student Loan) Interest Rate Disclosure

Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 4.36% APR to 16.15% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 5.87% APR to 16.45% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan origination loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Although the rate will vary after you are approved, it will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for this loan). Please note, Earnest Private Student Loans are not available in Nevada. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account. It is important to note that the 0.25% Auto Pay discount is not available while loan payments are deferred.

Earnest Private Student Loans are made by One American Bank, Member FDIC, or FinWise Bank, Member FDIC. One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. Finwise Bank, 756 East Winchester, Suite 100, Murray, UT 84107

Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC, 535 Mission St., Suite 1663 San Francisco, CA 94105, NMLS #1204917, with support From Navient Solutions, LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank, FinWise Bank, and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by agencies of the United States of America.

© 2024 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved.

4.11 - 15.90%
Variable APR
Variable APR

Auto Pay Discount Disclosure

You can take advantage of the Auto Pay interest rate reduction by setting up and maintaining active and automatic ACH withdrawal of your loan payment. The interest rate reduction for Auto Pay will be available only while your loan is enrolled in Auto Pay. Interest rate incentives for utilizing Auto Pay may not be combined with certain private student loan repayment programs that also offer an interest rate reduction. For multi-party loans, only one party may enroll in Auto Pay.

Student Loan Origination (Private Student Loan) Interest Rate Disclosure

Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 4.36% APR to 16.15% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 5.87% APR to 16.45% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan origination loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Although the rate will vary after you are approved, it will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for this loan). Please note, Earnest Private Student Loans are not available in Nevada. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account. It is important to note that the 0.25% Auto Pay discount is not available while loan payments are deferred.

Earnest Private Student Loans are made by One American Bank, Member FDIC, or FinWise Bank, Member FDIC. One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. Finwise Bank, 756 East Winchester, Suite 100, Murray, UT 84107

Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC, 535 Mission St., Suite 1663 San Francisco, CA 94105, NMLS #1204917, with support From Navient Solutions, LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank, FinWise Bank, and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by agencies of the United States of America.

© 2024 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved.

5.62 - 16.20%
lender College Ave logo
College Ave
Minimum credit score
Mid-600s
Fixed APR
Fixed APR

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through Firstrust Bank, member FDIC, First Citizens Community Bank, member FDIC, or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

*The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as the borrower or cosigner, if applicable, enrolls in auto-pay and authorizes our loan servicer to automatically deduct your monthly payments from a valid bank account via Automated Clearing House (“ACH”). The rate reduction applies for as long as the monthly payment amount is successfully deducted from the designated bank account and is suspended during periods of forbearance and certain deferments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. $5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees. Information advertised valid as of 08/25/2022. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.

This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

Information advertised valid as of 3/07/2024. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

4.07 - 15.48%
Variable APR
Variable APR

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through Firstrust Bank, member FDIC, First Citizens Community Bank, member FDIC, or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

*The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as the borrower or cosigner, if applicable, enrolls in auto-pay and authorizes our loan servicer to automatically deduct your monthly payments from a valid bank account via Automated Clearing House (“ACH”). The rate reduction applies for as long as the monthly payment amount is successfully deducted from the designated bank account and is suspended during periods of forbearance and certain deferments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. $5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees. Information advertised valid as of 08/25/2022. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.

This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

Information advertised valid as of 3/07/2024. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

5.59 - 16.69%

Closing Thoughts From the Nest

We hope that this step-by-step guide helps you along your college application journey. We’ve all been there before, and we know you can do it!

If you need any assistance regarding how to apply for college, reach out to your high school’s college counselor, speak with upperclassmen, and use your resources. Best of luck!

Sparrow’s goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

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