Paying for college is tough these days. Gone are the days when you could hold a part time job and still pay for all the expenses that a modern college student incurs. Costs are rising at astronomical rate at almost every university. Because of this, there are more and more ways to help an individual pay for their education. For example, taking out student loans is one way to pay for college, but it is not the only way. Here are some great ways to help fund your college degree and keep your head above water.
Start Savings Early
Parents who start saving for a child’s education when they are infants, will have a head start when it comes to paying for college. Saving a small amount each month or each year will yield a nice amount of money by the time your child is ready to enter college. Even grandparents can set up 529 College Savings Funds for their grandchildren to help pay for college.
Apply for Scholarships
There are a huge number of private scholarships available to help students pay for college. There are plenty of scholarships for many unique talents and activities that students may participate in. In addition, parents who are veterans may be able to help their children earn scholarship money. Other scholarships are based on nationality, minority status, or religion. Searching online for scholarships will return many different opportunities. Students should apply to as many as they can and apply early if possible.
Research the Cost of Schools
When applying to various schools, take the overall cost of the school into consideration. Paying more for a school when a similar program is offered at a less expensive school will not pay off in the long run unless a substantial scholarship is being offered.
Consider Going to Community College
Many students opt to take classes at a community college for their first two years. The costs are significantly less and there are no room or board fees to pay. Check to be sure that credits will transfer later on so that you can still be working towards a four year degree.
Alternative Ways to Earn Credit
You can earn college credits before you even get to college. Taking Advanced Placement Tests often results in college credits. Additionally, some courses can be taken online at a much reduced rate and still count towards college credits. Be sure that the credits will transfer.
If you do have to borrow money, only borrow the money you actually need. Do not borrow extra to pay for things like pizza parties in the dorm. You will only have to pay it back later, and paying interest on your pizza is not sound financial advice.
So, start early and do your research. There are ways to pay for college if you look around. Be ahead of the game and apply for many unique scholarships. Paying for college is possible with many opportunities available.