The years spent in college are often incredibly formative and instructive, and they can set you on the path toward building the fulfilling career and life you’ve always longed for. Unfortunately, the price of college can also be so high that you may find yourself wondering if attending is worth it in the end. Luckily, there are many viable options to help you pay for college on your terms. Here are five top approaches to financing your education.
- Student Loans
It’s common for students to pay for an average of 20% of college costs using personal student loans. These loans can be obtained from the federal government (be sure to fill out your FAFSA!) or from private institutions. At websites for lending businesses like MaxLend reviews can be found that may help you decide where to go for this important decision.
Sometimes schools will offer scholarship opportunities at the time of acceptance. If your letter doesn’t mention a scholarship, there are still options for you! Many private groups offer scholarships for a variety of reasons. Ask your high school counselor about scholarships they know of, or do an internet search for scholarship competitions. Many universities also offer scholarships based on grades, so if you don’t qualify right out of high school you may still be able to obtain future scholarships by studying hard and staying on top of your grades.
After you report your income on your FAFSA, the government may determine that your financial need qualifies you for free financing. A grant is a federally funded allotment that doesn’t require repayment, provided that you stay in school and obtain that diploma. Grants can also come from the school or endowments paid by alumni. These grants can be much larger than federal grants because they don’t have an enforced cap.
- Tax Credit
If your parents still claim you on their taxes, they can help pay for your college with a yearly tax credit that is intended to go toward the costs of tuition, room and board, supplies, fees, and textbooks. On the other hand, if you choose to be removed from your parent’s financial support, you may qualify for more financial aid based on your lower income and status as a student. These are things to consider and discuss with your college or university’s financial advisor.
- Work-study Programs
Universities know how expensive they are. Many have set up part-time employment to help students ease their financial burden a little. These jobs are often on or near campus and are qualified for by filling out a FAFSA. Work-study jobs have a cap to the amount of money that can be earned, and that amount is detailed ahead of time and based on your FAFSA as well.
Preparing for college can be a stressful time. If you find yourself worrying about food or shelter insecurity during your university years, rest easy. You have enough to stress about with grades, assignments, tests, roommates, extracurriculars, and that special somebody who sits in front of you in American history. There are many options to make college affordable, so you can focus on what matters.