If there is anything that everyone knows about college, it is that it’s very expensive. College costs are not affordable for the average family, and many people rely heavily on scholarships, grants, and loans to be able to afford their education. Colleges expect both parents and students to contribute. This puts a hardship on many children whose parents will not contribute. If you or your child is looking for a way to afford an education, follow these tips:
1. Apply for all the scholarships
There are scholarships for everything; grades, sports, clubs, essays, etc. Look high and low for scholarships to apply to. Also, look for scholarships specifically focused on students in your major or program. The more you apply to, the better chance you have at offsetting the mountain of bills that come along with college.
2. Consider loans, but understand the risks
Student loans can jack up their interest so that you end up paying way more than you originally borrowed. While student loans are an option, make sure to research the policies and interest rates of different lenders before settling on a company. The lower the interest rate you can find, the better off you will be. So get down and dirty and do some detective work before signing your life away to a loan company.
3. Consider the military
Although it is not for everyone, National Guard and Reserve military programs offer up to full tuition depending on what state you live in. The National Guard and Reserves are a part-time commitment for 4-6 years of military service. Enlisting gives you access to the GI Bill, which in turn, pays for college. Consider making an appointment with a recruiter to discuss your military options.
4. Get thrifty
Can you live at home and commute? Buy your books second hand? Go part-time? Get a job when you are not in class? The more ways you can save money, the better off you will be. So use your brain and come up with some ways to cut financial corners. Every little bit that you can put towards tuition instead of towards other things will help you greatly in the long run.
Although paying for college can be daunting, there are options to consider when it comes to payment. Make sure that you look around at everything available to you before you rule out pursuing further education.
Special thanks to Eileen O’Shanassy for providing us with this article. Eileen is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking, and you can find her on Twitter @eileenoshanassy.