The cost of college is the number one barrier to continuing education. Many of us end up looking solely towards an Education Loan. This is certainly a good way to go about it, but there are many other ways to stretch your college dollars. What are your options? Here are seven ways you can pay for college.
- Look into loans.
First, we cannot ignore the top way to buy into college: loans. Sure, debt isn’t ideal, but check out this Education Loan Calculator. You may be able to find a rate that’s more affordable than you thought. From there, you can supplement with a few of the following methods.
Many people save on tuition by working for the school as they study. This is particularly beneficial if you’re living off-campus (such as with your parents), as housing raises tuition costs by quite a bit. Making money while on campus affords you the opportunity to stay close to your classes and professors.
- Choose a public institution.
Private colleges are attractive to us for many reasons – smaller class sizes, interesting course offerings, and more. Yet these also typically come with a much higher cost. Public colleges and trade schools still provide an excellent education and can help you avoid excessive debt. Not to mention, they’re easier to get into.
- Make yourself invaluable.
How in demand are the careers in your chosen field of study? Training for a position that’s desperately needed may mean a college will offer you a great deal on tuition. For instance, in India, the most in-demand careers include computer vision engineers and machine learning engineers.
- Look up private scholarships.
Too many of us just opt for the same scholarships everyone else does. Do a deep dive into small, private scholarships. Look up as many non-profit organizations as you can and inquire as to whether they offer scholarships.
- See if your employer can pay.
Are you already an adult with a career? Then your employer may gladly contribute towards continuing your education. Choose coursework that’s relevant to the work you do, and you just may be off the financial hook entirely. Speak to your employer prior to selecting an institution and course load to see what and where they’re willing to contribute.
- Ask for extra financial aid.
So, you’ve been offered a certain amount of financial aid, but it’s not enough. Your unwillingness to accept this offer can really pay off. Demonstrate why it is that you should receive greater aid. Is it because you’ve already exhibited exceptional value in your field of choice? Were you previously at the top of your class? Are you from a particularly low-income bracket? All of these are very good reasons to get a better deal on your tuition.
In the end, people who spend less on college refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer. They apply for a broader range of scholarships, ask for better interest rates on loans, and know they are deserving of sufficient aid from employers and colleges. Don’t give up; it’s your tenacity and willingness to ask for what you want that will set you apart in the classroom and your career.
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