How to Fund College if You’re not Rich

College is an expensive investment no matter what profession a student may choose. The price of books, tuition, supplies, etc can leave the average student in fear of ways to finance their education. College is a great investment but how can you fund an education without going broke?

If you are still a student with a few years before you are ready to jet off to college consider a part time job after school or during the summer to begin saving for your education. The job you take on first may have nothing to do with the job you some day hope to have but any experience is better than none and any down payment toward college is a start. Accept a job that will be willing to work with your school schedule. Jobs one might consider are cashiering, cooking or waitress, baby sitting, tutoring, your own local lawn or house cleaning gig, etc. If you could land an entry level position in the field you are wishing to go into you benefit greatly by experiencing your future employment first hand and gaining a background in the field toward school.

We all realize a part-time or summer job is not going to fund the cost of a years tuition much less an associate or bachelors degree taking two to four years. What other ways can a student seek help in paying for college? A student might wish to apply for scholarships to the school they wish to attend. Scholarships are earned through hard work during your high-school years. It is important for a student wishing to apply for a scholarship to keep their grades up as high as they can. Doing this will require a lot of hard work and dedication to their goal. Prepare yourself for your letter to the institution by having high grades, volunteer in the field of your choice if you can, present yourself as smart, eager and willing to learn to achieve your long term goal.

Another option for a student are grants. Grants are available at most institutions. Visit the branch of the school you wish to attend and ask what types of grants they have available for prospective students. A counsler should be able to tell you what types of grants are available and may even have an application you can fill out to apply. Fill out the application there so you have someone to help with any questions you may have. Most grant applications are simple and basic information but having help in front of you is never a bad idea. Some grants are available online. Grants require a waiting period to see if you qualify so do not wait until the last minute to fill out your application or you may miss your first opportunity to begin class.

If you do not qualify for grants or scholarships there is still a resort for funding your education. Student loans are available to most all walks of life seeking to further education. The difference in a loan and a grant or scholarship is the fact  you are going to have to pay this money back to your lender. This is often scary for a student but should not be an issue if you plan carefully. Many schools today offer low interest repayment options once you have secured yourself in the workforce with their training while others may wish for repayment sooner. Know the repayment schedule of your loan and be sure to set up payments you can meet. Loans like grants and scholarships require time to approve so do not wait to apply.

Careful planning and hard work can set a student toward college success. College is an expensive investment but well worth the cost. Today jobs are plentiful and it is important to have the best edge when approaching an employer, a college education is often the best way to do this. College is often the balance of a happy, professional, and satisfying life. You can not put a price tag on happiness and a career you will love to go to every day!