I have to pay for college … Part One: Student Loans
If you’re like most high school graduates or thinking about going back to college, the prospect of having to pay can be overwhelming if you don’t have a lot of money saved. According to a 2015 survey of 5,000 Americans by marketwatch.com, roughly 62% only had about $ 1,000 in savings and another 20% didn’t even have a savings account. Additionally, the average cost of college tuition in America today according to collegedata.com for the 2015-2016 school year is $ 9,410 for in-state residents at a public university, $ 23,893 for out-of-state residents attending a public university. and $ 32,405 for private universities. These costs do not include textbooks or living expenses if you are not going to live at home or with a family that can help support you. Finally, there are additional expenses to consider such as computers, lab fees, tutoring, etc. So the big question is, how does a person pay for everything?
The answer is complicated; Paying for college generally involves multiple strategies. Assuming you don’t have anything in store for college, the most obvious solution would be to fill out the FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, with the US Department of Education on its website. By doing so, you will learn if and for what types you can qualify for student loans. This is generally the best option if you have to borrow money to help pay for college, because interest rates are often lower and the repayment term is more flexible. However, you should only borrow money if you haven’t exhausted all other options to pay for your education, because large student loan debt upon graduation can be burdensome. Interest will continue to rise on your student loan if you wait to start making payments, it will only add to the total amount you owe and make paying off your loan even more difficult. Consider any type of loan as if it were in the same category as an emergency; Don’t borrow money unless absolutely necessary!
I have to pay for college … Part two: Free money
Have you ever heard the term “nothing is free”? Well, “free money” for college, like scholarships and grants, is essentially “free money,” with some other form of cost involved. For example, Fund for Thought requires you to complete an application and write an essay to be considered for a scholarship. The cost in this example would be the application fee ($ 20) and the time spent completing the trial package. The “cost” is low compared to the possibility of receiving $ 2000 of “free money” for college. Scholarships and grants are “free money” because they are not required to be repaid, they are an award for some type of qualification or achievement.
You should apply for as many scholarships and grants as you can find. The best places to look are online scholarship databases, a high school guidance counselor, or the financial aid office at the college you will be attending. These places typically have extensive lists of scholarships available and can help if you have questions about the application. Additionally, local civic organizations, churches, and businesses will sponsor scholarships available to students in their area. Check your local newspaper and community announcements and you can find “free money” with little competition. The bottom line is that if you spend time looking for scholarships and grants, your chances of receiving “free money” for college are greater.
I have to pay for college … Part Three: Finding Scholarships
We wanted to dig deeper into the scholarship search because there are so many resources available that it can be a daunting task for the individual scholar. There are several different types of scholarships available and they can be classified by different attributes. We thought it would be best to compose a list to help give you some ideas and guidance as you begin your search.
1. scholarships for high school students
5. International scholarships (Canadian scholarships, scholarships for exchange students)
8.Full travel scholarships
9. community service scholarship
10. Company sponsored scholarships (Pepsi scholarship, Walmart scholarship, McDonald’s scholarship)
11. Race / Ethnicity Scholarships (Native American Scholarships, Hispanic Scholarship Fund)
12. Study area scholarships (journalism scholarships, law scholarships)
13. scholarships in areas of need (teaching scholarship, early intervention scholarship)
14. Merit-based scholarships based on academic or athletic achievement
This list is not extensive, but the goal is to get started. Free money for college is possible for everyone. By applying for as many scholarships as you can, you will increase your chances of winning an award.