I Have to Pay for College… Part One: Student Loans
If you’re like many graduates of high school or are considering going back to university and needing to cover the cost of it could seem overwhelming even if you don’t have a significant amount of money saved. According to a study conducted in 2015 of 5 000 Americans by marketwatch.com roughly 62% had only 1,000 in savings, while 20 percent of them didn’t have an account for savings. Furthermore, the median cost of tuition for college in America currently, according to collegedata.com for the school year of 2015-2016 is $9,410 for students in the state attending a public university as well as $23,893 for those who are out of state at a private college or private universities. The costs don’t include textbooks or living expenses if you’re not staying at home or sharing a room with relatives who will be able to support your needs. Additionally, there are additional expenses to think about, including computers, tuition, lab fees and more. The most important issue is how the person afford everything?
The answer isn’t simple the way to pay for college typically requires multiple methods. If you don’t have any savings for college, the best and most feasible option is to fill out the FAFSA (also known as the free application for Federal Student Aid, by registering with the United States Department of Education on their website. In doing this you can find out the kind of loans for students you are eligible for. It is generally the most suitable option when you are required to borrow money to pay for the cost of college because the interest rates tend to be less and the timeframe that you pay back is flexible. But, it is important to only take out loans if you have exhausted any other options to pay for your education because a huge student loan balance upon the time of graduation could be a burden. The interest will keep accruing on the student loan if you aren’t paying it off and only add to the amount you owe. This can make the process of repaying your loan more challenging. Take any type of loan is an emergency. Don’t take out the funds unless must!
I Have to Pay for College… Part Two: Free Money
Have you heard of the phrase “nothing is ever free”? It’s true, “free money” for college, such as grants and scholarships are in essence “free money”, with an additional cost. For instance, Fund for Thought requires that you fill out an application and submit an essay to be considered as a candidate for the scholarship. In this case, the cost is cost of application ($20) as well as the time you spend on completing the essay. It is worth noting that the “cost” is low compared to the chance of getting $2000 in “free money” towards college. Grants and scholarships have the status of “free money” because you don’t have to repay them They are awards in recognition of a particular qualification or accomplishment.
You should try to apply for the most grants and scholarships as you can. The most effective places to search are online databases of scholarships as well as the guidance counselor at your high school as well as the financial aid department of the college you’ll be going to. They usually have comprehensive lists of current scholarships and are able to help you with questions regarding the application process. Also, local civic associations as well as churches and companies can sponsor scholarships for students within their community. Look through your local newspapers as well as community announcements and you might discover “free money” with little competition. The fact is this: if spend the effort to find grants and scholarships, your possibilities of getting “free money” for college are much higher.
I Have to Pay for College… Part Three: Scholarship Search
We’d like to provide more information on the process of searching for scholarships because it is a huge field of sources available, it could be an overwhelming task for a single student. There are a variety of scholarships that are available and can they can be classified according to different characteristics. We thought it’s better to make the following list to give you ideas and direction as you begin your search.
1. Scholarships for high school students 2. undergraduate scholarships
3. masters scholarships
4. National scholarships
5. international scholarships (Canadian scholarships, exchange student scholarships)
6. Free scholarships
7. online scholarships
8. Full-ride scholarships
9. Community service scholarships
10. Company sponsored scholarships sponsored by the company (Pepsi award, Walmart scholarship, McDonald’s scholarship)
11. Scholarships based on race/ethnicity (native american scholarships, Hispanic scholarship fund)
12. Scholarships for study in the area (journalism scholarships and Law school scholarship)
13. Scholarships in need areas (teach scholarships Early intervention scholarship)
14. merit-based awards based on academic or athletic performance
This list is not by any by any means exhaustive However, the intention is to help you get going. The opportunity to receive free college tuition is attainable for everyone. By applying for the most scholarships you can, you’ll boost your chances of receiving an award.
Michele Mackin, MBA, is a guest blogger for [http://www.fundforthought.com], a scholarship website for undergraduate, graduate, and international students. Her own experience of funding her own masters degree provides insight for future students in higher education.