There are many ways to get funds for college. (Note this is in the perspective in domestic students, international students do not qualify for federal aid and most scholarships open in the US.)
1. federal aid, to get federal aid you need to apply for fafsa. How much you get is based on your family's financials and what they deem your parents can pay without getting into debt. Federal aid is usually given to you in grants. Note that liberal arts schools will usually require you apply to the fafsa and a CSS run by the collegeboard, making it privately owned.
2. Scholarships. Some schools offer them but you can also apply to private ones, these will usually require you to write an essay. Depending on the type like full ride scholarships that pay for all of your school instead of paying you a set amount once like 1K these full ride scholarships require you to be at the top of your grades and ECs (make sure you don't apply to scam ones).
3.The last not recommended but sadly needed option is loans. There are a variety of student loans out there that should be a better deal than regular ones with lower rates. A downside is that most schools financial aid packages will include loans, the percentage of this varies by school. Loans should be avoided as most students graduate with around $30K in debt if I remember correctly.
There is also few other things you can do to help while you are a student. Start saving for college while you are still in high school. Even an extra $100 can make a difference since you don't just need to pay for tuition but also personal expenses which aid doesn't cover. See the price of your dream school and estimate how much you think you would need monthly. From there you can set a percentage of money to save every time you get your allowance or payed. While in college you can also work independently or as part of work study if your school offers it, which allows you to work on campus and could save you on transportation costs from get to work.
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