Paying for school can be challenging in the United States if you don’t come from a privileged background.
People from average or poor backgrounds need to search for different ways to pay for school. Seeing schooling is essential since it’s the only way to get a professional job and plan for your future after graduation.
Different options are available when it comes to paying for school. The most popular is getting student loans from the government or private sectors. But considering how much in debt Americans are due to the student loans they took in college, you might want to choose a different part.
This article looks at some expert-approved ways to pay for school without going the student loan route.
1. Get a school savings account
You can walk into any financial institution and ask if you can open a particular savings account that comes with high-interest rates and tax benefits.
It’s best to open this account early, probably during preschool or high school, so that the interest can accumulate.
Parents can start saving for their kids’ education by opening a school savings account. It doesn’t matter if they’re financially buoyant; extra money doesn’t hurt.
If you are already in your final year in high school, you can still open the account to help you sort out a few things while in college.
2. Delay Your Enrolment
Ever thought of a gap year? Not only will it help you carefully consider what you want to study, but it will also give you time to work and save money for college.
It might be hard delaying school due to pressure from parents, friends, and society. Probably, you don’t want to feel left behind by your peer.
But looking at your financial condition, if you or your family cannot support you through college, what’s the point of going ahead with it?
Consider delaying your enrolment for a year or two to save up money and even gather real-life experiences that will help you in school and after graduation.
3. Consider alternative programs
If you’re finding it difficult to pay for a degree program, you can try community colleges or trade schools, which cost less but will still allow you to get well-paid jobs.
Also, they take less time to complete compared with degree programs. You even learn more there since most lessons are practical rather than the theoretical classes taught in degree programs.
You can decide to spend two years in such alternative programs, like a community college, to get an associate degree. Then apply for a degree program where you’ll only spend two years. That way you save money you would have used for the first two years.
4. Apply for scholarships
You can pay for school by applying for fully-funded scholarships that cover everything from your tuition down to your accommodation.
Some scholarships are partially funded, meaning they’ll pay part of the tuition while you take care of the rest.
Apply for scholarships sponsored by the government, professional organizations, philanthropic organizations, and businesses. They abound everywhere.
Search for them through search engines, social media platforms, or newspapers. You can start from the U.S. Department of Education.
Scholarships are easy to get if you have an excellent academic background, participate in volunteering, or have done something truly exceptional.
You also have to demonstrate that your family doesn’t have the financial capacity to see you through college. What you intend to study might qualify you for a scholarship too.
5. Think government aid
Consider applying for government aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) program.
You can do this by filling and submitting the form for automatic consideration for students’ aid programs. They can offer you bursaries, grants, and even student loans.
6. Remember to negotiate
When you get accepted into an expensive college, you are automatically offered a financial aid package. But what many students don’t know is that you can appeal for a higher package, and you’ll get it.
So when you get accepted, don’t forget the appeal process. It would help you settle a lot of bills in school.
7. Get a company to pay
Paying for school won’t be a problem if you get a job and have your employer pay for your education. It’s not strange to see companies covering the tuition fee for their employees, be it degree, post-degree or professional programs.
This offer is often part of an employee compensation package. If you work in such a company, don’t hesitate to take advantage of it. If you’re not sure if the company you work for offers such, ask the H.R.
8. Apply for student loan
This should be a last resort when other expert-approved ways to pay for school have failed. When taking out loans, check for the Federal and public offerings first since they have a lower interest rate.
If you are going to take from the private sector, it should be because you have no other options. Private loans have incredibly high-interest rates, which could make it challenging to repay the loan.
Paying for school shouldn’t be a problem with these options at your disposal. Hopefully, when you’re out, there won’t be a huge debt hanging on your neck. You can move on to start a new life without always thinking of how to pay off debts.
Do you find it hard to save money? Check out some money management tips that will help you manage and save money.