In 2015, an article in the Wall Street Journal reported the average student loan debt for the class of 2015 is slightly more than $35,000, more than twice the amount borrowers had to pay 20 years ago. And not only are students paying more — but greater numbers of them are also in debt. Almost 71 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients graduate with debt. Two decades ago that number was less than half.

There’s no doubt college is expensive, so how do you navigate making it affordable? Savings, scholarships, grants, and the right school choice could mean you or your child may not need student loans. Check out these FAQs to help you chart funding your college experience.

1. As a Marine, how do I finance my education?
2. As a Marine, how do I apply for Tuition Assistance?
3. As a Marine spouse, how do I finance my education?
4. Where can I find scholarships?

In lots of places! Check out the Department of Education’s advice for finding and applying for scholarships as well as scholarship search tools, such as:

• DANTES Federal Financial Aid & Scholarships Web page
• CareerOneStop’s Scholarship Search
• MOAA Scholarships
•’s Scholarship Finder
• MySECO Scholarship Database
• The College Board’s Scholarship Finder

5. How do I avoid scams as I apply for financial aid?
6. How do I fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?
7. How do I compare school financial aid offers?
8. How do I know the true cost of college?
9. How do I learn more about federal loan repayment?
10. How can I save for my child’s education?

Still searching for more in-depth assistance about financing your education? Contact your installation’s Voluntary Education staff and Personal Financial Management Specialist.