How to Pay for College the Smart Way

There are many types of student aid with varying eligibility requirements and options to consider.

  • Federal Student Aid – There are nine different programs funded by the federal government.
  • State-Based Aid – There are 605 different programs funded by individual states, with various eligibility requirements.  To find all programs in your state, visit
  • College-Specific Aid – Most of the 6,500+ individual colleges have aid programs that award both need and merit aid.
  • Grant – Money that does not have to be repaid.• Loans – Money that has to be repaid after graduation.  Many loan programs have interest subsidized by the government.
  • Scholarships – Money, usually awarded based on merit, that does not have to be repaid.
  • Work-Study – On-campus jobs that pay the student a wage.
  • Tax Benefits – Credits and refunds provided via the tax system for qualifying education expenses.

How to qualify for state and federal aid
To qualify for state and federal aid programs, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) each year they attend college. The FAFSA application is complex: It has up to 140 questions relating to both the student’s and parents’ financial situation. The process is similar to filing your tax forms and making mistakes on the FAFSA application can be costly.  Errors can affect the amount of aid you are awarded or cause delays in getting aid. Your FAFSA application is subject to “verification” by the college financial aid office.

Follow these tips to maximize your student aid eligibility.

  • File Early – Many student aid programs disburse funds on a first-come, first-served basis. With some student aid programs being underfunded and others having been discontinued, it’s more important than ever to file early.
  • Beat All Deadlines – Most states and colleges have very specific financial aid deadlines. It is important that you file prior to these deadlines.
  • Be Accurate – Just one wrong answer can affect your eligibility and potentially reduce your aid award.

If you have further questions regarding DuTrac Community Credit Union’s products or services, please contact a highly qualified financial services consultant by email at, in person at any of DuTrac’s convenient office locations or by phone at (563) 582-1331.

All offices closed Wednesday, June 19, for Juneteenth Freedom Day.

All DuTrac branches will be closed on Monday, January 15, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. day.

All DuTrac branches will be closed on Monday, February 19, for Presidents' Day.

All DuTrac branches will be closed on Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day.

All DuTrac branches will be closed on Monday, December 25, for Christmas Day.

All DuTrac branches will be closed on Monday, January 1, for New Year's Day.

Due to inclement weather, all DuTrac branches will close at 1:00 PM today, January 9. Online banking, AccessLine, ATMs and our app are available 24/7 for your convenience.