College is expensive and you could be wondering how you will pay for it. Before you think of throwing in the towel and forgoing attending college, you need to look for ways you can pay for it. There are several options available when it comes to paying for college. While most people think of getting student loans, you still have other avenues you can get the money from. Before you apply for a personal or student loan, read this article to learn ways you can get the funds to further your education.
Use your savings
If you have a substantial amount of savings, you can tap into that to cater for your college expenses. If your family had taken a college fund policy for you, you can cash it in and use the money for your college expenses.
Ask friends and family to chip in
You can organize a fundraiser and ask friends and family to chip in and help you raise the funds you need for college. There is no shame in asking for help and they could help you with part of the tuition fees as you look for ways to raise the rest.
Alternately, you might be seeking a loan with help from your parents, in which case you will need to compare Parent PLUS loan rates that can eventually be transferred to the student.
Look for scholarships
You can start looking for scholarships before you become a senior. You can start looking for scholarships from places like the Evans Scholarship Foundation awards that gives students full-ride scholarships if you have been a caddie for at least two years. This means you can start caddying when you join high school and by the time you are in senior year, you qualify. There are thousands of scholarships available and all you need to do if find the one you qualify for. When you get a scholarship, you can study knowing that you do not have to pay it back.
Look for grants you qualify for
If you apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you can get access to some federal grants, work-study programs among other things. If you keep submitting and renewing it annually, you might get some money from the Federal Pell Grant fund. Grants, like scholarships, do not need to be paid back. There are several other grants you can access. All you need to do is research and fill applications. You never know which one you will get.
Apply for work-study jobs
Getting a job while in college does more than give you a source of income. It gives you the experience you need and helps you build your network. If you cannot get a job by yourself, you can try applying through FAFSA and see if you qualify for work-study. However, just because you get the job does not mean that you will get the money. You need to work the number of hours needed to qualify for the financial aid.
Choose a college you can afford
Instead of choosing an expensive college that you will have a hard time paying for, you can look for a more affordable college. You can find a college that offers the course you want to do and apply there. If your finances are already strained, you can think about joining a community college or starting at a technical school. This does not mean that you will not do the course you want, it gives you an opportunity to do a shorter course that will put you in the job market. After you start earning, you can go back to graduate school.
Get a loan
Taking loans should be your last option. If you go for student loans, look for payments that do not exceed 10% of your net income. Taking student loans should come before taking private loans.
If you want to take a private loan, you need to shop around to see the best lender. The best lender is the one who gives the lowest rates and offers you protection. The payment plans should also be flexible so as not put a strain on you. Remember that when you take a loan, you have to pay it back. Most student loans gain interest when you are in school so you will have to pay a larger amount than the one you borrowed. You can find lots of information about loans on sites like Huffpost.