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College is a sound investment because you can find a higher paying job than without it. Going to college can be quite costly, but here are several ways to help you afford college.
5 Tips to Help You Afford College
Financial aid can be obtained by applying and qualifying to government supported programs.
The government is willing to invest in the economy and the future. They achieve this by boosting the education rate of the country through financial aid. Hundreds of millions of dollars are given to prospective students in the hopes they are able to graduate and become contributing members to the economy. You can see how much you qualify for by submitting a Fafsa. This is the most popular way to finance college.
Always get the most help that you can get when applicable.
Scholarships are largely awarded based on academic performance and demographics.
There are different scholarships for every demographic you can imagine. You can have a scholarship for being able to play the violin, speak a certain language, be part of certain religious background, etc. The hard part is tracking down all of the millions of scholarships and avoiding potential scams. Services like Peterson’s and ScholarshipOwl do this for you and make it easy to find scholarships. If you’re willing to write essays for college tuition, you could potentially be able to pay off college off scholarships alone.
Be thorough with your research and apply to every category you fit in.
Paid Internships and Work Study
There are paid internships/work study that can help pay for college.
Getting a paid internship is one the most beneficial things you can do while attending college. Obviously, you get income to help you with your expenses, but, more importantly, you gain valuable work experience from the internship. You get a feel of how the business/career path you’re interested in works while still being a student. So when you finally graduate, you have an edge in being accepted for good jobs because you already have work experience in that field. Also, you get to test the waters and see if you like that specific industry. You can switch majors or career concentrations early if things are not what you expected.
You have to work to get paid. Why not start early?
Loans are available to people for low interest rates.
It always best to be debt free. However, sometimes you are unqualified for financial aid, so you have to apply for school loans. It only makes sense to borrow money if you can repay it back.
If you borrowed $20,000 to pay for 4 years of school expenses, but you made a really smart choice about your career and you will be making about $80,000 right after school, you would repay the debt in no time.
Carefully research different student loans’ conditions and restrictions. Borrowing money is not necessarily bad. Consider it an investment for education. Just be sure not to take on too much debt. One of the biggest problems is students take on debt after debt to afford college, only to find out after graduating they are unable to find a job or one that can afford to repay the loans. They default on their loans and are thrown into a financial crisis. Many financial analysts recommend taking on no more than $5,000 of debt per year.
Community college could be financially wise for many people.
While not the fanciest or most prestigious option, community college is a legitimate path to take for low-income households. The difference in the quality of education is slim, while the difference in cost is enormous. CollegeBoard estimates the annual price of community colleges at $2,963. However, the annual price for public state universities and private universities are respectively $9,000 and $36,000! That is a huge price to pay just to go to a more recognized school. Community colleges offer almost the same coursework for a fraction of the cost. Also, you can always transfer over credits to a 4 year university if you choose to. Speak with your school’s academic adviser to ensure your credits are transferable.
Education made affordable.