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How to afford college

Financial aid application

How can I afford college? If this is the first time you are going to college, you are probably asking that question! This is one of the biggest, if not most important, decisions you will need to make when deciding to attend college, and there are many different options to consider.

Financial Aid

The first option is Federal Student Aid. You may have heard the term “FAFSA”…but have no idea what it is. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form used by the US Department of Education to determine eligibility for financial aid, grants, loans, and other means of funding your college education. If you want to afford college and need assistance with financing your degree, you should complete your FAFSA.

Financial aid application

There are many misconceptions about applying for financial aid and paying back student loans. Therefore, even if you don’t think you will qualify, go ahead and fill it out. The quickest way to complete your FAFSA is to complete it online.

It’s Free

Keep in mind that the application is FREE! There are many other sites (unfortunately) that charge you to complete the application, but if you go directly to https://studentaid.gov/, it is free. The great thing is that it only takes about 20-30 minutes to complete.

School Code

As soon as you submit your FAFSA, you will get a confirmation page that tells you what you should be eligible for in grant(s) and/or student loans. Cool, right? If you are researching several schools, you can enter multiple school codes on your FAFSA. Each school has a unique FAFSA code so that your financial aid information can be sent to the school. For instance, if you are thinking of applying at CCBS, you can enter our school code, 041542, when prompted on your FAFSA.

Putting a school code or multiple codes on your FAFSA doesn’t mean that you have committed to attending those schools. This is just allowing your information to be sent to the school so they can answer any specific questions you have regarding eligibility. 

Need Help?

The Federal Student Aid website is extremely helpful, and has a lot of information about applying for student loans. If this is your first time applying for federal aid, check out the site! Are you a visual learner? Check out their YouTube channel.


Another option to consider when paying for college is scholarships. There are thousands of scholarships offered each year that help many students to afford college, the challenge is finding one that caters to you.

Two girls excited over receiving a scholarship

However, while the FAFSA takes about 20 minutes to complete, the scholarship search can take a little longer. It can also be daunting, so it’s helpful to start your search off on the right foot.  

Here are a few sites to help you get started!

Just like the FAFSA, avoid scholarships that require payment. Applying for a scholarship should be free. Take your time to review the scholarships available and take even more time to apply for them. This is not a process that should be rushed; hundreds of students apply for scholarships each year, so take your time and make yourself stand out.

In addition, don’t forget to search locally. Ask around at your church. Talk to you pastor or minister. You never know who may be willing to help you on your educational journey.

Military Benefits

Lastly, if you are active military, a veteran, or a qualified family member you may qualify for veteran benefits. Benefits are specific to each individual and their branch of service and military status. Students are encouraged to visit the Veteran Affairs education site for managing and applying for their benefits. 

CCBS is honored to serve as a military-friendly Christian college in North Carolina, as well as to serve our veterans worldwide. Our desire is to facilitate your education and ensure you receive the maximum benefits to which you are entitled.

African American male military student


In conclusion, God has faithfully provided for hundreds of students at Carolina College of Biblical Studies. Each one has been able to fund their biblical training at CCBS using various financial aid opportunities and creative strategies. Download our free ebook today and read more about five creative strategies to fund your education.

If you are considering attending CCBS and have questions about how to finance your education, please feel free to call our admissions department us at 910-323-5614 or admissions@ccbs.edu.