You might have been close with your high school guidance counselor for a long time. Guidance counselor is the one who helps you refine your college choices and shortlisting them based on your academics, selectivity, or other student resources. Despite all these support from your guidance counselor, he or she might not be well acquainted with ins and outs of your financial condition. In such case, you are your own helper rather than the guidance counselor.
This article gives you a basic idea on how you can afford your college.
Explore all options for funding
If you want financial support in your college application, this the task you should not be missing. It needs a lot of research and judgements. There are many different funding options you should explore. You will find many such options as you surf through the internet. Exploring is not just finding, it is finding something important or needed. So give your fullest efforts
Grants do not need to be paid back. So they are the most desirable financial aid options When you have a grant, you can still graduate without having a burden of student loan. There are several avenues for applying for a grant, with federal, state, and school-specific grants all available.
Grants are need-based, so in order to qualify for one, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate your financial need. This begins with the Free Application for Federal State Aid (FAFSA), which is released in October of each year. Once you fill out a FAFSA, you’ll be able to get a clearer idea of how much aid you qualify for.
Scholarships are another great way to help relieve the financial burden of a college education. There are thousands of scholarships out there, and you can easily search for them. Scholarships are mentioned by colleges in the financial aid pages of their websites. Scholarships are sometimes one-time awards and are other times renewable for up to four years. Some scholarships are need-blind, which means that they are awarded without regard for financial need, while others are need-based.
Scholarships can be a mixed bag. On the one hand, they are a great option because, like grants, they do not have to be repaid and can help you to graduate debt-free. On the other hand, they do sometimes take away from the amount of aid that you’re eligible for. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t apply, but it does mean that you should be aware that a scholarship won’t necessarily reduce your out-of-pocket expenses directly.
Work Study Program
Work study programs are another desirable way to help defray college costs. Essentially they are way to work off part of the cost of your college tuition. In this federally-funded program, you are awarded work through the program valued at a set amount. You will be responsible for finding a job through your college’s work-study program, and your paycheck will either be deposited into your bank account, where you can use it to help pay for college, or it will be directly debited from your college fees.
Loans are the least desirable option for helping to pay your college costs because they must be repaid. You will finish your undergraduate education with a new responsibility of paying the debt. Such debts continue to accrue interest until they are paid off in full.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should not take out a loan to pay for college, but it does mean that you should carefully consider doing so before blindly signing that dotted line. You need to think about the terms and conditions mentioned in the paper. While federal and state loans are closely governed, private loans can have variable interest rates and carry significant risks.
Student loans are a significant financial commitment that often follow graduates for a decade or more after graduation. Your student debts will follow you even through a bankruptcy later in life and will also be linked to anyone who cosigns the loan for you.
That being said, there are often gaps between what is covered by grants and scholarships and the total cost of a college education. If loans are the only way for you to bridge this gap, you may have to consider them if you want to attain a college diploma.
Reducing College Costs
Exploring funding options is a way of tackling the college costs, but reducing the college costs is also an equally wise step. There are many ways to cut off the unnecessary expenditures during the college in order to make your investment in college education more efficient. You can use the saved money in other parts of college attendance.
Commuter Schools or Off Campus Housing
The total cost of attending college is much higher than simply the tuition. Other costs like housing, meal plans, and supplies can really add up. One way to reduce the total cost of a college education is to cut back on these additional fees. You can avoid housing costs and reduce meal costs by living at home or considering other housing options. Living at home and commuting to college can save thousands in housing costs over four years.
Sometimes the cost of living on campus exceeds the cost of renting a room in a larger house with other people, where you’ll also usually have access to a complete kitchen.
Dual Enrollment or AP Classes
In a dual enrollment program, you can enroll in college classes while you’re still in high school. If you pass them, the credit will count towards both your high school and college graduation. This is a great way for students in high school to stay engaged in challenging work while defraying some college costs.
AP classes or credits can work in a similar way. If you can pass AP exams, your scores will sometimes count as credit towards college graduation. This varies from one college to another, but if you have amassed a significant number of passing scores on AP exams throughout high school, you should look into which colleges will accept them for credit. This can ultimately save you lots of money in tuition costs.
Community colleges are neglected, but they can be amazing means for saving college costs. Before you enroll in a four-year college, it’s possible to enroll in a local community college. You can begin earning college credits at a significantly lower cost in a community college.
It is possible to transfer to a four-year school after having completed two years at a community college, and sometimes you can even use the earned credits to place you in the school as a junior. The specific rules for transferring credits from a community college vary at each four-year institution so be sure to look into these rules before you begin. This way, you still get a college diploma from a four-year college, but you arrive at it with significantly lower costs.