How to Pay for College if You’re not Rich

My family has never been well off. Even as a small child I figured I had no chance of going to college because it was expensive and I knew my parents couldn’t afford it. Many kids when small figure they will go, their parents will come up with the money some how, but I knew well enough that that wasn’t going to happen. My parents couldn’t afford it. Lo and behold though I found a way to go. There is this awesome thing called the FAFSA.

You fill it out, whether you do it online or the paper version, you get your parents tax info and all that and it will tell you what funds are available through the government. I was able to get a nice big Pell Grant and a few other things.

College Scholarships/Grants
Also, always make sure to fill out all the scholarship forms the colleges you want to go to. These will provide you with more funds. Good thing is a lot of these funds are grants and scholarships. Some are because of your parents income (or yours if you are a dependent) and some you get because of grades. Some you can get through your state just for going to a college in your state.

Taking the ACT or the SAT (depending on what part of the country you live in) will potentially give you more funds, or in my case a tuition remission, at most colleges. If you get a perfect score on either many colleges give you a full ride scholarship.Even if you don’t think you’ll do well, do your best and you’ll be surprised what you can get. Get lots of sleep and eat a good breakfast and make sure you have a calculator (at least the ACT, I didn’t need the SAT so I don’t know much about that).

Loans are something no one really wants to take out. Eventually you have to pay them back and that is with added interest. However you can get a subsidized loan or unsubsidized loan. Subsidized you don’t get charged interest until 6 months after you graduate college. Unsubsidized charges you interest from day one I believe. I did have to get a subsidized loan, but the good news about a loan is if you make payments on time and get it all paid back it is great for your credit and a really good way to get credit for a someone just out of college.

Other sources of money
If all the above don’t get you enough sometimes you just have to work a lot and save up money. Save every bit from your job, birthdays, Christmas, whatever you have to. It’s always nice to get money for a present when you are a college student. Also not going out to eat all the time, not doing extra driving, and all those sorts of things will definitely help you save up some money.

With loans, scholarships, and grants I’ve been able to fund my two years of college and would be able to fund more if I was going on for more college. You can do it if you really try so never say you can’t go to college because of the money it costs. I always thought that, but I will now be graduating and I am very happy I didn’t not work to get money together (my parents have not and will not pay for any of my college). You can do it!