Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.com » Paying for College

How to Pay for College

how to pay for college

Whether you have finalized applying to the college of your choice or you are still working on it, this is the right time to explore about the expenses and how to pay for college. Studying in the best college is the dream of many students, however paying for college can be frightening. Arranging for the money can be hard, especially in tough economic times.
You can get a real idea of the expenses from the college’s financial aid office. Don’t be depressed and disheartened if the expenses appear too high as there are sources of financing, both public and private, available to help families with solutions to the problem of how to pay for college. Students and their families should search for financial aid options rather than concluding that higher education is impractical in today’s economy.

Following are some approaches on how to pay for college:

Use Saved Money to Pay for College

Since college studies is an investment for the future, you and your family should be expected to spend some money for your education and if you have any savings put away for this expense, now is the time to use it. Ask your parents if they created a 529 savings plan, to help pay for college expenses. Here is a link to find out more about 529 savings plans http://www.studentbank.com/college-parents/529-plans/>

Grants and Scholarship are Useful for Paying for College

It is important to apply for grants and scholarship to help offset the cost of college. These are the financial aid given to students and have the added benefit of not needing to be paid back. To receive grants, individuals have to express financial need. Federal Pell Grants are given on the basis of financial need, college costs, and your enrollment status (full- or part-time). Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants are campus-based grants which are given to the students with exceptional need.
To receive the scholarships, individuals have to meet or exceed certain standards set by the scholarship committee. Scholarships are also awarded on the basis of academic achievement or some special talent or skill. Students usually have to sustain a certain level of performance like getting good grades for getting uninterrupted aid. View detailed information on all types of financial aid for students from http://www.ed.gov/

Work and Study

Another answer to the problem of how to pay for college is to work. Summer offers a great chance for you to work and all the money you earn can be kept for education. Newspaper delivery, serving food, mowing lawns, doing data entry, or any other work of your choice can prove to be good ways to add to your college fund. A number of high school students can even manage to work part-time even during the school year. You can even search for on-campus work, this way you can increase your knowledge and network of connections to the university while earning the money to pay for college. There are even campus based Federal Work-Study programs which offer part-time jobs for students with financial need. All of these choices involve good planning and budgeting, but will definitely help you save money to pay for college.

Loans

Taking student loans is also a solution to pay for the college. But you need to be very careful regarding the money you borrow, as you will have to pay it back and with interest. Various loans are available for students and parents. The money for these aids can come from colleges, private scholarship funds, or the state you live in, however the maximum of it comes from the U.S. Department of Education. The financial aid which comes from the government is called federal student aid. Here is the link to find out more:
http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

Other factors That Can Help Pay for College

  • Choose the college with lower tuition cost.
  • Check the cost of living off campus in place of on campus living.
  • Attend an in-state college. As an in-state college’s tuition fees will be lesser than an out-of-state or private university.
  • Apply to the colleges which are near your home or near a relative you can stay with. If you can commute to school, you can definitely save money to pay for room, food, and board.
  • There are great options available for “loan forgiveness” or “loan repayment” programs. These programs propose to eliminate some or all of your student loans in response for preferring certain careers, military service, and even volunteer work. These programs can help get rid of anywhere from a few thousand dollars to over $100,000 of student loans.
[back] How to Get Scholarships and Grants for College

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