If you are a student in the United States, the chances are that you may end up in student loan debt while desperately trying to make ends meet because of how high the cost of higher education has become. According to several news reports, nearly 70 percent of American students finish college indebted; this makes the topic of how to pay for college without loans super relevant.
Fortunately, there are indeed many ways in which students may afford to finish college more focused on their bright future and not on the burden of student loans. Here are our tips.
The way to college begins in high school and students may find some ways to make their future education easier here already. No, it is not just about savings. In the US, there is a special social program for students, namely the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Applicants can even get free tuition or substantially reduce the price of the education with federal grants, but most commonly, FAFSA is the option of last resort when the loan is inevitable, and you just need a reliable option.
The simplest way to pay less for college is to pay with your brain. Various scholarships or grants represent the easiest way to decrease the educational cost, although it requires a lot of effort, and the criteria to apply is strict sometimes. Nonetheless, there are not only scholarships based on academic performance; sports scholarships are no less popular. The starting point here is your high schools, which usually provides resources for students to find scholarships to qualify. Even in the opposite scenario, there are many website aggregators, like the College Board, which lists available scholarships and have plenty of choices.
To qualify for some of these scholarships, you will most likely have to present merit and showcase your writing abilities. Several scholarships require tedious amounts of essays and if you are strapped with homework, college applications and entrance exams you may want to consider leveraging a cheap essay writing service to assist you with creating generalized batch essay templates that you can apply to different scholarship applications. If you are curious to know about other student’s experience of cooperating with one of these services, consider reading this Essay Shark review.
It is needless to say how the cost of education varies from state to state, especially if you are aiming to enter some prestigious place. However, if you are limited on the budget, it is better to consider all of the options and calculate not only the price of education but the overall cost of living in a particular area. Also, a smart move is to go to community college first and transfer to public college after two years. Yes, it is not so fancy, and you will not enjoy the perks of campus life for two years, but on the positive, you will pay two years instead of four.
Of course, it is hard to combine active study with employment, so that is why a part-time job may be a better option. Probably a part-time job will not get you a grand fortune, but it certainly would ease the financial burden. Besides, there are plenty of areas where students can work part-time, and some spheres, like freelance, would not hand-cuff you to your workplace, which is suitable for students with a flexible schedule and steady workload.
As surprising as it is, your educator may become your employer. This is what the Federal Work-Study program does, enrolling students around the state on a full-time or part-time job, which may even correspond to your major and give you extra experience in addition to extra cash to pay for the studies.
Finally, closing the topic of employment, it is impossible to overlook the option of employer reimbursement. Of course, reimbursements sometimes are tough to get, but lately, even conventional employers like Starbucks or Walmart feature working for students with reimbursement options to cover tuition either partially or fully. This may be an especially valuable idea for high-profile specialties since many top companies in business hire promising students at first opportunity.
Unfortunately, the price of full-fledged independence for students is unreasonably high because the cost of the room makes one of the most significant expenses. That is why it may be smart advice to live off-campus and find the option that suits you best, either commuting and living with peers and friends or staying with family for some additional time.
The core idea of all of these points above is that studying in debt does not worth it and indicates not so well-thought financial choices. Hence, every change should start from yourself, so it is necessary to learn the basics of budgeting, calculate your expenses, and refrain from making huge controversial financial choices that could impact your goal of receiving high-quality higher education.