Published On: Fri, Nov 10th, 2017

How to Afford Your College Tuition

Getting into the college of your dreams is a great feeling, but unless you and your parents are financially prepared to pay the heavy tuition fees, boarding fees, and everything else associated with higher education, things are going to get pretty tough. The good news is that there are ways to cut that cost down to size and make your college fees much more affordable.

Scholarships

Even though the country is drowning in a student loan debt of more than $1.3 trillion, fortunately, there are also multiple opportunities for students from any field to apply for summer scholarships. The scholarship programs are so varied and numerous that if you do your research, there’s something for everybody. Some of the general fields in which scholarships are given to students showing promise include athletics, academics, cultural contributions, contributions to the community, location, background, and various other accomplishments.

Work-Study Programs

Thanks to the Federal Work-Study initiative, students can now work at schools to help pay off theircollege tuitions or the student loan. The initiative includes schools all across the United States and the number of institutions where a student can find work under the Act are numerous. This covers full-time, part-time and online students.

Company Reimbursement Programs

Some renowned employers like Starbucks or Chrysler offer excellent reimbursement programs to their student employees, so you might want to take up a part-time job with one of these companies. For example, Starbucks will pay half of the tuition fees on behalf of their employees during their freshman and sophomore years, as long as they put in at least 20 hours every week. In fact, if the employee sticks with them throughout the junior and senior year as well, they will reimburse the entire tuition fee for those two years as well.

Grants

Grants are like scholarships, but they are usually given to students coming from families that are most in need of it. They come from a variety of organizations, both government and private, but you will likely need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form so that the concerned authorities can decide whether you are eligible for the aid. Just like scholarships, Grants are available to students from various fields, but instead of bestowing them on students on the basis of merit and accomplishments, they are given on the basis of background, financial status, social status, etc.

Start with Community School

This is a neat little trick which can save you tons of money, without sacrificing on the promise of passing out from a big name school. Complete your first two years in community college and then finish the last two by transferring yourself to a reputed institution. Your degree will not mention anything about your first two years in community school as long as you pass out from the University of your Choice. This is a sure shot way to save two whole years’ worth of tuition money.

In spite of the countrywide debt, the US college fees will only continue to rise in the coming years. This is why it is all the more important for students to take advantage of whatever facilities that might be there in place to help them. While it cannot be denied that managing work and keeping up with the strict stipulations of a scholarship program can be quite challenging at times, the extra work might still be worth it, once you consider that the alternative is paying huge chunks of money to the bank for years to come.