Getting into college is one thing but paying for it is an entirely different matter. With the changes to our economy in the past several years, some good and well-intentioned parents have had to dip into their children’s college funds to keep their homes and support their families. So what is a college bound student to do? Take a deep breath, don’t panic there are many ways to pay for college.
Stick Close to Home
You may have had big dreams of leaving home and heading to an out-of-state college. This is not to say that you can’t do that later but it is very wise to consider staying in-state because there are substantial discounts for attending colleges in your home state. Staying at home for a year or two can help you concentrate on your studies instead of paying for rent and going to school.
Don’t Snub the Community Colleges
Obtaining a two year degree or even taking your core college classes at a community college can save you thousands of dollars. Check with the school but in most cases credits easily transfer to other universities in the state and even throughout the country. If it means you can stay out of student loan debt – or keep in low – it is definitely something to consider.
Apply for Scholarships
There are thousands of scholarships available to students and it’s not always about getting the best grades. Scholarships can be given for a variety of reasons so do your homework and find and apply for several that you think you would qualify for. There are hundreds of books and websites on the subject of where, how and when to apply. It’s definitely worth the effort you put in.
Have an Honest Discussion
Talking finances can be uncomfortable and difficult but you’ll want to sit down with your parents (and/or grandparents) to find out what they really can afford to help you with; then you’ll have an idea about how much you’ll need to finance. Remember, it’s not just about the tuition there is also books, supplies and other things you’ll need.
Speak with the Financial-Aid Office
All colleges have folks who can help you apply for financial aid. You’ll need to find out the difference between need-based assistance and merit-based. You will also want to learn more about loans, grants and work-study programs. Colleges want to help students afford their education so make sure you touch base with them and allow them to assist you in any way they can by explaining in detail all of your options.
This is a guest post by jian, who is active blogger and a member in Kumon. She writes various articles on technology and on personality development. Her last read article is “how to become a tutor” on Kumon.