Work First Learn Later
When you first come out of school, your salary will be at its lowest. For a year or two, focus on saving for graduate school. Live as economically as you can, and put away whatever money you can. In a year or two, these savings will add up. In the end, if you get a scholarship, work while in school, or get a teaching assistant position, you may end up leaving your graduate school fund alone. Then, voilàyou have a down payment for a new house or a new car.
Scholarships And Student Loans
You probably didnt graduate high school without hearing how important scholarships at leas a thousand times. The speech may be old and boring, but the message behind it is true. Scholarships really do help cut the cost of college.
Finding a scholarship can be tough, but the good new is that scholarships are offered for just about anything imaginable. So all you have to ask yourself is, what are my strengths?
Are you the smartest kid in your class? If you are then you probably already have a big fat scholarship to some fancy Ivy league school, so good for you. How about not the smartest, but the best at geography?
Are you really good at languages? My sister got offered a scholarship for winning a beginners sign language competition. There is a scholarship for just about anything!
Look at things that interest you. Dont resign yourself to the scholarships that everyone is after. If you arent very good at football and basketball stop hunting around for those scholarships.
Consider picking up boxing or fencing. Maybe you could go for chess or tennis. If you are good at something, someone is bound to pay you for your skills.
Do a little research and you may be able to find a big payout.
If you cant manage to find a scholarship then dont worry. The thought of student loans may send a shiver down your spine, but they arent necessarily a bad thing. While you do want to avoid debt as much as possible, taking on some student loan debt wont kill you.
Complete The Fafsa To Apply For Financial Aid
No matter where you go to school or what financial position youre personally in, make sure to apply for financial aid each year. Also, your application ought to be completed by your schools deadline to ensure youre considered when funds are being awarded.
At most schools, the need for financial aid is determined using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is a long and comprehensive application that takes some time to go through, but the time is well-spent as it frequently results in at least some financial aid.
Also, dont assume you wont get financial aid because of your personal finances or familys wealth if you are well-off. Instead, apply and let your schools financial aid office determine whether you qualify. The application process costs nothing except some time, and you might be pleasantly surprised.
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Parents Hire Me To Put Their Kids Through College Debt Free
because most didnt save for college, are starting too late, and have no idea what college boards are looking for. So, I help them discover resources they never knew about that have colleges begging their kids to go to their school. Bottomline, you dont have to risk your retirement for your kids college fund. With Cracking the Code to Free College your kids can live the life of their dreams.
Choose Your School Wisely
Contrary to popular belief, this doesnt always mean choosing the school with the lowest sticker price. If you can qualify to get into an elite Ivy League school, for instance, you might find that they charge absolutely no tuition. Some of the most well-known schools have the most robust financial aid programs, even for upper-middle-income families.
The key here is to apply broadly to different schools. Try some local schools, which well talk about in a moment, that have a lower sticker price. But consider more prestigious, expensive schools, too. Then, compare the schools based on their actual cost after non-loan financial aid is applied.
Once this is done, choose a school that you can afford, but one that also has a strong program for your area of interest. Remember, future employers care less than youd think which school your degree comes from, as long as you have taken the right courses and excelled in your program.
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Cut Costs By Taking Online Courses
It is now possible to access quality online college programs and courses from anywhere, which offers increased flexibility, especially for non-traditional students who juggle work, family, and school commitments. Typically, online courses allow students to avoid commuting costs and optimize their workload by eliminating going to lectures in person.
Start At A Community College
Choosing your local community college for the university of your dreams is hard. It can help your pocket in the long run, though.
Community college is less expensive than universities. According to Forbes one year at a public, 4-year university would be on average $10,440 in tuition. Compare that to one year at a community college for $3,730 in tuition a year.
My dream university was UCLA. I knew my parents wouldnt be able to afford it, so I went to my community college instead.
Just because you started at a community college doesnt mean you have to stay there. Going to a community college will make more sense to attend for a few years and then transfer to a university.
You can complete your general education classes and get an associate degree. You will need to verify with a counselor what credits will transfer.
Which is exactly what I did. I received my associates degree and then transferred to my local university.
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Take Out Federal Student Loans
- Potential coverage: Up to your schools cost of attendance minus other financial aid
If you need to borrow money for school, federal student loans are generally a good place to start.
This is mainly because they come with federal student loan benefits and protections, such as access to income-driven repayment plans and student loan forgiveness programs. Youll need to fill out the FAFSA to apply for federal student loans.
Here are the main types of student loans you might be eligible for:
- Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need. The government covers the interest on these loans while youre in school, leaving you with less to pay off after graduation.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to both undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of financial need. Unlike subsidized loans, unsubsidized loans will continue to accrue interest while youre in school.
- Direct PLUS Loans are available to both graduate students and parents paying for their childs education. Unlike other federal student loans, PLUS Loans require a credit check. They also generally come with higher interest rates compared to subsidized and unsubsidized loans.
Keep in mind:
Decide That Debt Is Not An Option
Because it wont be easy. It will look hard. But when you decide debt is not an option, you start making different decisions. You are forced to get creative and you will be resourceful in ways you never would have developed, had borrowing money been on the table.
This doesnt have to be all or nothingalthough I think youll see better results if you treat it that way. Its not binary its gradual. There is a lot of gray. But if you just tell yourself now, Debt is not an option. What else can I do? You will start to see a whole bunch of other things open up.
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Find Creative Ways To Pay For College
You dont have to rely on the traditional ways to pay for college. You can graduate with little to no debt.
As you can see, there are creative ways to help you go to college and find some money that doesnt equal student loan debt. Some side hustles that might even be fun.
If youre anything like me and dont qualify for FAFSA, TRY THESE! Try all or some. Youll be surprised how much you can earn.
Need more creative ways to pay for college?
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Try Not To Use Your Credit Card
If you left home with a credit card, it might be tempting to take it with you every time you go out and spend it on things you dont really need. When you pay with plastic without any budget, its easy to go way over what youve actually got to spend and put yourself in more debt.
Instead, try to limit your credit card spending, or try not to have one at all. If youve got a budget and youre spending less than you earn, theres no need for one, anyway.
College can be hard times, especially if youre paying for things yourself. However, it doesnt have to be impossible when it comes to your finances. Use these tips and set yourself up for success as you complete your college degree.
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How To Pay For College With No Money Saved
If you have no money for college, there are several options that could help, such as scholarships and student loans.
Edited byAshley HarrisonUpdated July 1, 2022
Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we receive compensation from our partner lenders, whom we will always identify, all opinions are our own. By refinancing your mortgage, total finance charges may be higher over the life of the loan. Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS # 1681276, is referred to here as “Credible.”
If you dont have this kind of money saved for college, paying for it might feel impossible. But dont worry there are options that could help.
Here are seven ways to pay for college with no money:
Become A Resident Advisor
To save money on housing and food, students can become a resident advisor at their college. This part-time job often comes with free housing and a college meal plan.
At most colleges, RAs live with other students. They plan activities in their dorm, fostering a fun and welcoming environment. The job isn’t for everyone, but many who work as an RA find it a productive way to save money while gaining work and leadership experience. Most RA applications at colleges are competitive and require students to apply up to a year in advance.
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Alternative Ways To Pay For College
The traditional starting point for students seeking financial aid is typically student loans. However, loans often come with steep, unforgiving interest rates, and can mire graduates in debt for decades after graduation. These alternative ways to pay for college can help you sidestep the student loan trap.
Before And During High School
Start saving by taking advantage of 529 Plans early on.
529 Plans are tax-advantaged savings plans that encourage future college students, their parents, and just about anyone else to start saving for college early. Every state and the District of Columbia has at least one 529 plan available to its residents. Plan details and eligibility requirements vary widely, but there are two basic types:
Prepaid tuition plans allow savers to purchase college units or credits at participating colleges and universities at current rates and use them in the future.
College savings plans allow savers to establish accounts for designated beneficiaries to pay for their college expenses. Take Advanced Placement classes while in high school.
Advanced Placement classes allow high school students to complete college-level courses and earn college-level credit. Earning AP credit reduces the number of credits students must complete in college, which in turn can shorten the amount of time to graduation and reduce the total cost of earning a degree. Take online college courses to get a head start.
A huge number of four-year institutions offer degrees online allowing students to avoid the costs of moving to away from home and paying for a dorm room or apartment. High school students can also take online college courses to get a head start and reduce their time to graduation. Find a job.
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Ways To Save On College Costs
Scholarships, grants, work-study, and crowdfunding are methods to bring in funding to pay for college and graduate-debt free. But cutting costs is the other end of the affordability equation, and can help you navigate your education in the most inexpensive manner possible. Follow these tips to lessen your college expenses.
Attend A Public School As An In
In-state schools’ tuition prices tend to be much lower than tuition at private schools and out-of-state public schools. According to the National Center for Education Statistics , the average in-state tuition at a public four-year school was $9,349 for the 2019-20 school year â $23,420 less than at private four-year schools and $17,674 less than out-of-state public schools.
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Become A Paid Note Taker
You are already going to go to class and take notes, so why not get paid for it? In many universities and colleges, the disability resource center needs note-takers.
The notes are for other students who are unable to attend or unable to write their own notes.
I was asked to do it one semester. I didnt know that existed before then. The pay is not much, but it did help pay for one of my books the following semester.
If something like this doesnt exist in your school, create it.
Choosing An Affordable School
Do you know how much it costs for an undergraduate to attend Harvard for a year? Go ahead take a guess. $15,000? Maybe $25,000? If you want to go to Harvard for a year then you will end up paying over $46,000 in tuition costs alone. Tuition, room, board, and other fees combined total to about $68,000 to attend Harvard for one year.
I know guys that make less than that in a year.
School is expensive my friends, and, as I said earlier, the price seems to keep going up up up. Im not going to lie to you. Just about any school you choose to go to is going to be expensive, but some options are better than others.
I dont want to dissuade you from going to your dream school, but when you are trying to make it through college without any debt, you have got to make some difficult choices.
Paying out of state tuition, for example, costs on average about $9,000 more than attending a university that is in your state. But if your heart is set on going to Alabama and you are from California, you can always live in- state for a year and then claim residency.
Community colleges are also a cheaper option than going to a university. Over the years, community colleges have earned an undeserved reputation of being a place for people who have no direction or motivation in life, but these claims are baseless.
You may reasonably ask what they where doing all that time. They werent goofing off. They just couldnt decide on a major.
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The Problem With Debt
The reason that we dont like debt, isnt because it is bad in and of itself. Its because most of the time debt keeps you from being able to have your money do what you really want it to do.
I do not want you to be sitting there when you are 35, and still paying for the choices you made when you were 25. I hate the fact that really young people with no financial understanding are making huge financial decisions. I feel like its a scam. We do a huge disservice to young people in telling themor letting them believestudent debt is the only way. It is not the only way.
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Pay Cash For Your Degree
Using your own money that youve budgeted for specific purposes is always the best and wisest approach to paying for anything. And that includes college. If youre the parent of younger kids, now might be a great time to begin saving for their education. But if youre getting closer to campus drop-off day and havent saved a dime, dont panic. I have plenty of tips for you.
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What Should Students Think About In Terms Of Social Media
I think you can make social media what you want to make of it. It can absolutely be a help, but for those kids from Harvard who got their acceptances rescinded, it definitely was a hindrance. Social media is a hot topicespecially in the college and the scholarship industry. Kids can use it to their advantage: Have a Pinterest board of the colleges you want to go to. So anybody who is considering you can see all you’re doing, all you’re interested in. Have a board for your volunteering. Put the pictures up. Have a website that’s got all the things you’re doing and excited about.
I cringe when I look on Twitter at the things kids type in because they’re frustrated. “My mom wants me to submit 27 scholarships!” I cringe because, if a judge does see that … ugh. When I Tweet out “Be careful what you’re Tweeting,” I always get responses from admissions officers and scholarship judges and people who serve on committees for scholarships who say “Oh, this is so true … thank you for letting the kids know this.” They are looking.