High school students have to worry about two things before their graduation: choose a college and find money pay for that college education. So where can you get the money? Sure, there is financial aid and scholarships, but did you know there are other, more creative ways to pay for school?
First and foremost is the almighty scholarships. Scholarships are actually in the hundreds if not thousands. They can be reserved for local students or opened to every student in the nation. So if you want less competition, it’s best to apply for your local scholarships. Your counselor is your best resource to the latest scholarship updates in your area. Also, if you are in the top percentage on your SAT test, you can also be qualified for Merit Scholarships, which are given to about 15,000 students per year nation wide.
Secondly is a State university education. If you get accepted into both public and private universities, you should take a good look at your financial aid packages before making a decision. Public university is always cheaper. If money is a problem, a public university education will be a less burden for you and your family.
Third way is to apply for Military Scholarships. If you are accepted into a military program, the military will fund your college education, including room and board. The only condition is that you have to choose to serve in one of 5 military branches: navy, air, army, marine, or coast guard once you graduate from college.
Fourth way is to shorten your college education by taking more classes per semester. If you can finish 4 years of colleges in 2.5 or 3 years, then you will save one-year worth of money. The only way you can do this is to take more classes and also more advanced classes. This means that you have to work a lot harder than your peers and have less time spending elsewhere.
Fifth way is to divide your college education between public and private universities. You can choose to spend 2 years in a public university and then 2 years in a private university. This way, you can save tons of money for first 2 years in public university. The only downfall is the transfer process. It’s like you have to apply to a new college all over again. I am not sure if it’s even worth the hassle.
Sixth way is to apply for low-interest loans from your university. For example, Penn offers Budget plan for students and their families. This means a student’s tuition is divided into 10 months. If the balance is 2,000 $, then each month the student has to pay 200$. This will offer more flexibility for the students and their families.
The seventh way to get money for college is to obtain a job. Most universities offer work-study for students who needs the money. Work-study opportunities are often available on campus like in the library or in a laboratory. There are also a few off-campus opportunities, but those jobs must be approved by your financial aid office. Most colleges recommend students to have only about 15 hours or maximum 20 hours of work each week so their academic performance will not suffer. If you earn 7$ an hour, that will bring in about 100$ a week and 400$ a month. This amount can really come handy while you are in college.
So these are 7 ways you can get money for your college education. You can try any combination that fit your situation. The best thing you can do is to find ways to make your college education affordable for you and your family. Applying to many scholarships, applying for aid, getting a job, attending state school, and applying for loans are few things you can do to make your dream of getting a college education come true. Good Luck.