Going to college is one of the greatest experiences a young person may embark on whether it’s immediately after high school graduation or after taking a year off.

But what if you can’t afford to attend the university or college of your choice? Maybe you don’t have enough in the bank? Perhaps your parents can only help foot the bill. What do you do? Well, you can take out a student loan, ask for financial assistance.

However,  the current stats related to student debt are cause for concern. According to American Student Assistance, around 20 million men and women attended college in the U.S. each year — and roughly 60 percent of these individuals (12 million) must borrow financial aid to cover tuition, residence fees, and other academic costs, according to the website Bestcolleges.com

There are currently 37 million Americans with outstanding college debt, more than half of which are younger than 39 years of age; the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimates that together these borrowers carry roughly $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt, the site states.

However, many higher-learning institutions offer financial aid packages that include scholarships, grants, work study programs, and other types of assistance that do not need to be repaid; these packages let students receive an education and pursue a successful career without tallying up huge amounts of loan debt, the site states

This list below from Bestcolleges.com ranks the best U.S. colleges and universities in terms of financial aid packages that serve students whose family income falls below $48,000 per year.


The site’s top 5 universities rankings are:


“UTPA has a wide selection of scholarships that fall into four categories: endowments, institutional funds, grants and contracts, and state scholarships; students can also browse a list of links for private scholarships on the school’s website …” the site states.


“Cal State Dominguez Hills offers four premier scholarships; the Presidential Scholarship covers full tuition for recipients, while the other three scholarships award between $2,000 and $4,000 per year. An additional 32 scholarships are exclusively available to Dominguez Hills students, and another eight scholarships are reserved for students attending any school within the CSU system …” the site states.


“UNT offers two institutional grants, the merit-based Emerald Eagle Scholars award and the need-based UNT Tuition Grant; students who attend the university may also be eligible for three state grants. The UNT website also lists 19 scholarships, many of which are reserved for freshmen, transfer students, certain academic majors, veterans, and other specific groups. Students who demonstrate financial need may also apply for a work-study program; the maximum award for these programs is $4,000 per academic year,” the site states.


“Cal State Los Angeles offers six department-specific scholarships, as well as 20 scholarships funded through private companies and organizations (most of which are reserved for California natives) and five Emeriti Fellowships. CSULA students are also eligible to receive Cal A or Cal B grants (both of which provide an annual stipend to students with demonstrated financial need),” the site states.


“CUNY Lehman students with demonstrated financial need may qualify for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), a New York state-funded program for full-time learners. If financial aid from TAP is still insufficient, students may additionally apply for another state-funded tuition assistance program, City University Student Tuition Assistance (CUSTA). The university also offers two merit-based scholarships and two tax credits for students and their families,” the site states.

For the entire list of 50 universities ranked, visit http://www.bestcolleges.com/features/best-financial-aid/