How to Fund College if You’re not Rich

College is one of the biggest expenses most people will ever face and sadly this expense deters many people from going to college but it shouldn’t there are many ways to deal with the expenses of college. Three of the best are planning, scholarships and student loans. None of these are enough to completely pay for college for most of us but combined they can allow you to graduate college with minimal debt while not shortchanging your education.

Saving for college is the most important first step and as in any type of saving time is as big a factor as the amount you can save. If you start saving for college when a child is born with just 100 dollars and add only ten dollars then at a 5% interest rate you would have 3785 dollars when the kid turns 18 and about 1000 dollars more at a 7% interest rate. This number can of course be increased more by simply adding more than 10 dollars per month and the earlier you start saving the better.

The next major step in funding your college career is to find scholarships. There are no shortage of scholarships. many people assume that scholarships are limited to academic and sports but this is untrue. There are scholarships for nearly anything you can think of from religion, nationality, home town, state, parents jobs, or the degree you are searching for and every year thousands remain unclaimed. Before you do anything else to prepare for college talk to someone about the numerous scholarship possibilities and then begin to apply. You’ll be surprised how many possibilities there are.

The final choice is student loans. This isn’t the ideal choice as no one likes to go into debt, but student loans aren’t as bad as as many others. There are many public and private loans available to students. These loans can be used for classes, books, housing, food and any other expense you might have and it’s a good investment. Spending ten thousand dollars a year on college can help you earn far more every year for the rest of your life. Most importantly these loans are on a sliding scale which means that students won’t have to worry about paying back much while in college or even at the beginning of their career.

None of these options alone will fully pay for college but together these three options can make college a fun adventure that can lead to the job of your dreams in four years without the stress or time expenditure of having to keep a full time job while going to college full time.