Verto Education was designed to give students the opportunity to see new countries while graduating in four years at the same cost, if not less, then your typical semester of college. We do our best to eliminate anything that does not directly contribute to our students’ educational experience. That means students aren’t charged any dues for sports teams, groundskeeping or that new wing on to the English Department. Our semester costs start as low as $5,000 depending on the location(s). This includes room, food, tuition – everything except books and flights.
Despite our best efforts, a semester of college is still an expensive investment. To help navigate college finances, we’ve put together a list of resources on how to fund a semester with Verto Education.
Student Loans via FAFSA
To apply for a federal student loan, you must first complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). As part of financial aid package, you will likely be offered two different types of loans: subsidized or unsubsidized. Direct Subsidized Loans are loans made to students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of college. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are made to all students, not based on financial need.
If you are a Verto student (an undergraduate in college), the maximum amount you can borrow each year ranges from $5,500 to $12,500. Depending on if you are enrolled in Verto for a semester or a full year, you’ll have access to half or all of that loan.
The benefit of taking out a federal student loan is that the interest rate is fixed, and generally lower than that on private loans. You also don’t have to begin repaying your loans until after you leave college or drop below half-time. There are even certain jobs where you may be eligible to have a portion of your student loans forgiven, for example teachers and other public service workers.
Parent Loans via FAFSA
Parent Loans through federal financial aid are called Direct PLUS Loans. In order to apply, students must have already filled out their FAFSA form. Parents can then submit a Direct PLUS Loan Application. In order to receive this loan you must be the parent of an undergraduate student and not have an adverse credit history. The maximum PLUS loan amount you can borrow is the cost of attendance at the school, minus any other financial aid the student is receiving. Parents can request a payment deferral while their student is in school, and up to 6 months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time.
Pell Grant via FAFSA (if eligible)
A Federal Pell Grant is free financial aid money for low-income students to attend college that requires no repayment. To apply for a Pell Grant, you need to submit your FAFSA form. This will determine whether or not your financial need is high enough based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). You’ll be notified it you qualify for a Pell Grant and federal student loan options as part of your financial aid package. For the 2019 – 2020 school year the maximum Pell Grant award is $6,195. You’ll be able to use half of that on one semester with Verto Education. If you decide to stay for the year, you’ll be able to use the full amount for both semesters.
Federal student loans should always be taken before private loans, which often come at a higher interest rate. Once you’ve exhausted your federal options, look at different private loan options to see which gives you the lowest interest rate. One of the most popular private student loans is Sallie Mae, but there are a lot of other options available as well. Similar to federal student loans, many private loans will also allow you to defer payment until you are finished school. The most important thing to remember in taking a private loan is to borrow only what you need.
Study Abroad Scholarships
One advantage of being a freshman year of college abroad, is that Verto Education students qualify for both study abroad and gap year scholarships. These scholarships are often much less competitive than general freshman college scholarships because a smaller percentage of students end up applying. Here are just a few scholarship options Verto Education students can apply to (for a full list visit Go Overseas).
There are literally tens of thousands of scholarships available for college-bound students. These range from $100 to $10,000. The key here is to apply early and often! Don’t just aim for the high dollar scholarships, earning a few hundred dollar scholarships here and there is often easier to do, and adds up fast. Here are a few sites where you can find all kinds of scholarships available:
The Verto Promise
Our mission is to provide an affordable and innovative way for students to incorporate travel into their four-year college experience. We have an entire team dedicated to helping students find the resources they need to be able to spend a life changing semester, or year, abroad with Verto Education. If there is ever thing we can do to help – reading scholarship essays, deciphering your financial aid package, or if you just need a pep talk – our team is here for you!