Paying for College
It has become more difficult to pay for a college education. With tuition skyrocketing many people are wondering what it really takes to pay for college. Here are some tips that you may want to consider to help you pay for a higher education for yourself or your children approaching college age.
Apply for FAFSA
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a government program that allows you to potentially obtain certain types of financial aid and assistance. Submitting to FAFSA gives you a chance to receive federal grants, education loans, work-study opportunities and some assistance from the state government or the school itself.
Look for scholarships
Another option is to look for available scholarships for which you may qualify. The advantage of scholarships over student loans is that scholarships do not require you to pay back the money you receive. However, usually you will have to start applying before you even graduate high school. If you have a high school child looking to go to college you will want to start encouraging your highschooler to look into potential scholarship opportunities early.
Many scholarships will require submitting your FAFSA application. Most of these will also require that you submit an additional separate application to be considered.
Find a school that is affordable
Of course, you want to go to a school that is as high quality as possible, however you also do not want to pay more than you can actually afford. Therefore, be sure to look around for a school that is within your means. A financial advisor can help you to determine how much you really can afford to pay for tuition for yourself or your children.
Apply for grants
There are various types of grants that the federal government has available for those looking to go to college. One of the most common federal grants is the Pell Grant. When you submit your FAFSA application you will be automatically considered for the Pell Grant and will receive the money if you indeed qualify. Therefore, it is important that you submit FAFSA for each year you are enrolled in school. The federal government offers various other types of grants as well which you should be sure to look into.
You may qualify for a federal work-study program which can fund a part-time employment position while you are enrolled in college. Submitting to FAFSA is required for a work-study program. This type of job is perfect for many college students in financial need because it can provide valuable work experience and a stream of income. However, you will have to find a job on campus that is eligible for the work-study program.
Create a comprehensive financial plan
No matter what strategies you decide to implement to pay for college it is always important to have a financial plan to guide you. This can help you maintain a budget while in school and also allow you to figure out how much tuition and related expenses are really affordable for you. Consulting with a financial advisor can help you with creating a financial plan for your college expenses or to help your child pay for college.