Crack open the books, sharpen your pencils, and get to class. Investing in education has a surefire ROI that’s worth your time. But the average $48,000 for an education can be a hard pill to swallow.
Before you reach for your checkbook, there are alternatives to pay for school. Some are obvious, but other methods of financing your future are more obscure. Read on to the article to educate yourself, otherwise, you’ll surely pay (full tuition price).
1. Go to Community College
It’s no secret that community college is significantly cheaper than attending a university. Some local colleges offer four-year degrees.
If your career choice doesn’t pivot on where you graduate, consider getting your bachelor’s at the local level. But if your projections for your future heavily rely on your alma mater, there’s a way to circumvent the system.
Get your associate’s degree from your community college. Finishing your general education requirements and some other unrelated prerequisites before transitioning will save you greatly.
Often, credits at the local level are a fourth of the price. You’ll be saving about 40%.
2. Apply for Every Scholarship
Most students are aware of merit-based scholarships. They’re usually state-funded and require a high GPA, a decent SAT or ACT score, and maybe some volunteering. For those that weren’t the best students, there are even more niche opportunities.
A lot of scholarship money goes unaccounted for because of their obscurity. Just about any abnormality or unique scholarship imaginable is available. Some scholarships are awarded to students that are shorter than 5-foot; scholarships are also available for those with great duck-calls.
Go to your school’s registrar office. The administrators there will have a list of awards that haven’t been swept up. Most of them don’t even require an essay, just your application.
3. Pay for School With Grants
Schools and states award scholarships on student ability. However, states award grants to students with financial hardship.
These awards don’t ever need to be repaid. And they’re often given to the following groups:
- Returning students
- Married students
- Middle to low-income studen
4. Testing Out of Classes
A lot of prerequisites or classes unrelated to your major can be tested out of. This is done either directly through the university’s testing center or a CLEP program.
CLEP is a program that offers class credit for tests that you pass. It’s often used to test out of foreign language requirement courses.
At any opportunity, you should test out of a class, even if the tests cost money.
Most schools are rather understanding of a student’s financial predicament. If an enrolled student is having difficulties paying, the college’s are tyrannical. The majority of them want students graduating, not deserting.
Set up an appointment with an advisor and the financial aid office at your school. Many times, aid can be negotiated to better fit your needs.
Be Smart About Your Tuition
College is a worthwhile investment. But a lot of would-be students recoil when they don’t how to pay for school.
There are a lot of methods for getting an education cheaply. There are so many scholarships and grants available, and they can all be negotiated. Students should also consider community college.
Want to learn more about higher-learning? Don’t skip the lessons, read our other articles on college.