Choose An Affordable College
Researching affordable colleges helps students cover their expenses without parental support. Undergrads can easily save tens of thousands of dollars by choosing more affordable colleges. When researching affordable options, however, prospective applicants should consider their financial aid options to calculate the net college costs.
Extend Yourself To Save More
Too many parents get complacent about their college savings goals. According to Fidelitys 2016 College Savings Indicator Study, 45 percent of parents felt they could have saved an extra $100 a month for their childs college fund. Half of these people estimated they could have put away an extra $200 a month. If you can afford to save more, the extra interest your savings would attract could be substantial.
For many families, finding an extra $50 or $100 per month may seem out of reach, but these extra dollars, consistently saved, could potentially boost college savings by nearly $20,000 or even $40,000, Keith Bernhardt, the vice president of college planning at Fidelity, told Forbes.
Extending yourself and your savings more each month could make a massive difference when your child heads to college. If you want to save money for your childs college education, theres no better time than the present to put these smart financial strategies in place.
Schools That Offer Generous Merit
If you’re a high-achieving student but don’t think you’ll qualify for much need-based aid based on your family’s finances, you should look into schools that offer generous merit scholarships. Schools with generous merit-based aid programs often offer scholarships to attract competitive students.
If you have a particular talent , or if you have high grades and test scores, you could be offered some pretty large scholarships. If you’re interested in a particular school, just google ” scholarships” to see what sort of aid they offer. You can also start by checking our list of schools with the best financial aid.
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Get Paid For Your Opinion Or To Surf The Internet
Youre a college student, so chances are pretty good youve got strong opinions and like to spend time online. Turn both of those things into money-making endeavors! Websites like Survey Junkie offer multiple opportunities per day to fill out surveys in exchange for instant money, while companies like Swagbucks pay people to search the internet. Both companies are reputable, and while you may not get rich, theyre a great resource for extra money.
Pick Up Some Paid Tasks
Paid tasks are an excellent way to earn some extra money for college, as they can often be done quickly and on your own schedule. Join apps like Task Rabbit or CashApp to find local tasks that fit your lifestyle. Tasks include everything from painting a living room for a neighbor to playing a new mobile game for an hour. Simply choose the tasks you have the time to complete, and make some money! If you have more time to spare, check out the website Outsourcely, which offers temporary virtual assistant jobs to students and other hustlers.
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How To Pay For College Debt Free
This article was co-authored by Michael R. Lewis. Michael R. Lewis is a retired corporate executive, entrepreneur, and investment advisor in Texas. He has over 40 years of experience in business and finance, including as a Vice President for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. He has a BBA in Industrial Management from the University of Texas at Austin.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 16,706 times.
With college prices continually rising and our job market still struggling from the recession, paying for college has never been so challenging. The average college student graduates with $20,000 to $40,000 in debts. Fortunately, students also have many options that their disposal to help them pay for college without needing to access plenty of debt. While paying for college debt free is not easy, it is possible with the right knowledge and resources.
Community College Transfer To Four Year Programs
Earning an associate degree in two years and then transferring to a four-year program could save students tens of thousands of dollars. Two-year schools are significantly less expensive, and they allow students the opportunity to complete nearly all degree prerequisites. Just 17% of community college students take out federal student loans, compared to 48% of students at four-year public institutions who use loans to finance their education.
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Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Should Think Twice Before Taking On Debt To Send Your Kid To College
We are nearing the time of year when students announce their plans for college in the fall, and parents overextend themselves financially to make it happen, or feel very guilty for not doing so. Paying for college is one of the largest single expenditures that most individuals, or families, will make in a lifetime. Today, a typical bachelors degree costs $85,000.;
There is hope for parents: Here are five reasons why despite tremendous pressure, having to mortgage your financial future to send your child to his or her dream college is not the right call.
First, if you overextend yourself financially to make a college dream come true for your child, you are taking away your ability to be your childs financial backstop. While college is a good bet, it is risky. It could;fall short of being a golden ticket to success and prosperity. Federal student loan programs now have features that prevent borrowers from having to make unaffordable payments, but even that sometimes isnt enough to ensure that student debt isnt burdensome. Safeguarding your financial future means youll be able to help your child in an emergency. Keep your savings until you are able to afford to repay the loan. Maintaining your financial ability to lend a hand is a far greater gift to your child than a ticket to an expensive dream school.
Closing The Gap: How To Cover Your Remaining Costs
You’re almost at the finish line.
At this point, you should have an idea of whether you’re high-need or low-need and dependent or independent. You should also have an idea of the types of schools you’ll apply tofor example, top private schools, in-state public schools, schools with generous merit aid, or some combination.
After you submit your college applications, you’ll receive financial aid packages from schools with all the federal aid and school-based aid you’re eligible for, including grants, scholarships, and some federal loan options. You’ll decide what forms of aid you want to accept, and which ones you’d prefer not to take. Here, I’ll briefly discuss the types of aid you may receive, and which types are better than other.
- Grants and Scholarships: These equate to free money. You should accept this aid if it’s available to you.
- Loans: Loans are amounts of money that you have to pay back after you graduate, plus interest charges. Some loans are much better than others, meaning you’ll end up paying less money in the long run. Federal loans are generally good options because they often have lower interest rates. There are a lot of important considerations if you’re thinking about taking out loans, so it’s important to educate yourself! Read more about federal loans like the Perkins, Direct Subsidized, and Direct Unsubsidized. You should also learn more about how to apply for student loans and reducing the amount of student debt that you have to take on.
How To Talk To Your Parents About Applying For Financial Aid
If your parents can’t or won’t pay for college expenses, they may be wary about filling out a FAFSA or giving out financial information for need-based scholarships. It’s important to assure them that submitting a complete FAFSA with their financial information does not obligate them to help you pay for college. The FAFSA has nothing to do with your bills or college expenses…it’s simply an aid application.
Bottom line: if they refuse to help you with your FAFSA, they’re not protecting themselves. They’re just impeding you from qualifying for financial aid.
What if, though, they’re just overwhelmed by the process of completing and submitting a FAFSA?
If this is the case, you can let them know that the FAFSA only takes 2-3 hours to complete. You could even do it on your own if you have your family’s financial information handy:
- Social Security Numbers for you and your parents
- Alien Registration Numbers
- Recent federal tax returns, W-2s, and other records or income for both you and your parents
- Any records of untaxed income
The sooner you submit your FAFSA, the better, so don’t put off having these discussions with your parents or guardians!
I Learned The Value Of Doubling Up On Payments
Paying back the minimum monthly balance owed on your student loans is certainly reasonable. I completely understand that not everyone is in a financial situation that allows them to pay more than the minimum due.
However, if youre like me and you could spend a little more on paying back your student loans now and a little less on takeout, coffee runs, and new clothes, then by all means do your best to reallocate your money.
I started doubling up payments on one of my students loans and I saw an immediate difference!
Even though spending my money less on social and recreational activities isnt exactly fun, it is important to spend more money on my student loans now to reach financial freedom sooner.
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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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Consider Federal Student Loans
Your child may be eligible for unsubsidized federal student loans, even if they do not qualify for a subsidized federal student loan. These loans, made directly from the federal government, typically carry low interest rates and feature long payback periods. Filing the FAFSA helps you determine your eligibility for a direct federal loan or determine if you want to seek out a private student loan.
Having your child take out a small student loan to help pay for some of the expenses can be an efficient way for them to take on some responsibility and start building financial skills, says Green.
Help Your Child Fill Out The Fafsa
One of the first steps your child should take when applying for schools is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid . This will let your child access federal financial aid that can be used to fund their college education.
Unfortunately, the process can be complicated. Helping your child fill out the form correctly can ensure theyll get the most money possible. Thats what Jaime Leon and his wife did for both of their children who went to private colleges.
When FAFSA time came, it was a parent-child team effort, said Leon. I cant see how a high schooler by themselves could get through that. We guided them when they received their financial aid/loan offers and helped them to understand the bigger picture of how much they would owe at the end.
Although the Leons did help pay for some tuition costs after their children brought home good grades, filling out the FAFSA helped cover the bulk of the costs.
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Help Your Child Earn College Credits While In High School
Just because your child isnt in college yet doesnt mean they cant start earning university credits. One way to do this is by taking AP exams and earning a high score. Your child can send those scores to your university or college and they may help you earn credits. Of course, this means outlying some cash, but taking AP exams could save you money in the long run.
Each AP exam costs $94 to take and $32 for low-income, eligible students. The exams are scored from one to five, and many colleges will give credit for scores of three or higher.
Having more credits before even setting foot on campus also means your child could graduate early and save more on housing, food, and overall tuition costs.
Take Required Core Classes At The Local Community College
Every college degree includes a big selection of core classes that every student is required to take, regardless of major. That means even if you plan on studying art history, a class on biology or human anatomy is still required. The good news is that many of these basic core classes are transferable. This means you can take them at the local community college and transfer the credits back to your degree at your college or university. Youll save a ton of money for the same exact credit.
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So You Still Had To Take Out Student Loans That’s Ok
Even with strict budgeting, scholarships and part-time jobs, you still may need to take out a loan. That’s not the end of the world: as long as you’ve done your best to limit the amount of money you need to borrow, you’ll have significantly less to repay after college. The key is to avoid getting saddled with debt that will take more than a decade to pay off.
Before starting college, it is important to determine how much debt you can afford to take on. Calculate how much you’d have to pay per month and for how long to fully repay your loans. The amount of debt depends on a variety of factors, including the cost of tuition, housing expenses, and your job. Due to these circumstances, people have different capacities to manage debt, and should determine how much they can take out accordingly. A common guideline to heed is that your total debt upon graduation should be less than your annual starting salary; a debt of that size will allow you to comfortably repay what you owe in 10 years or less. If you have to borrow more money than that to finance college, consider looking into different schools. It is important to realize that there are ways to strategically save as you earn your degree, while still having a fulfilling and intellectually stimulating college experience.
Have Your Employer Pick Up The Costs
There are loads of companies that will pick up your college tab, including Disney, Starbucks and Papa Johns. Many others offer some form of tuition reimbursement up to a certain amount.
Even lesser-known companies might pay your way through college. Ask your employer if theyre willing to provide tuition reimbursement or pay for costs up to a certain amount to help offset your total college costs. Your employer is investing in your education while youre working to better yourself potentially for that company. Plus, up to $5,250 in tuition reimbursement each year is tax-free for both employees and employers.
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It’s Hard Work But Worth It
Sometimes it’s too easy to take the quick way out and grab an immediate solution to a problem, like taking out a loan or asking family to help. However, students should think twice before they go these routes. It may take extra time and energy, but finding a way to cover college yourself has many long term benefits.
Reason Number Four: Grad School
Depending on your field of study, graduate school can be even more expensive than your four-year undergrad degree. For example, the average cost of getting an MBA is about $60,000. If you’re dreaming of a career in law or medicine, the cost will be even higher. Regardless of program, if you plan on going to graduate school, you will have a considerably smaller burden if you already paid for your undergraduate degree yourself.
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Superb Ways To Make Yourself Loan
Paying for college should not bring you stress and burden. With hard work and dedication, you can pay for your college tuition fees without drowning yourself in debt.
Here, CIIT-Philippines shares seven tips on how to stay loan-free while studying in college.
1. Save money while in high school.
You can work after school and during summer to earn money for college. Saving early will help you avoid loans to pay for future school outlays.
2. Seek help from generous family members and relatives.
It is time to beg a favor. Some of your folks might help you pay for college. Investing in higher education could be an enticing idea for people who have the means.
3. Work full-time before college.
Taking a year off from school to work full-time can be a helpful choice. Strive hard and save a big part of your income. This way, you can have a large amount of money saved for college.
Besides earning money, full-time employment can help you gain work experience and boost your resume, too. If possible, consider living with your parents or relatives during this year to reduce your living costs.
4.;Choose a low-cost school.
Tuition fee is an important factor when choosing a school. Get a list of the best yet low-cost colleges and apply to those with the lowest tuition rates and payments.
5. Look for scholarships and grants.
6. Apply for a part-time job while in college.
7. Reduce your expenses.