What are the priciest things you’ll ever own?
A house, sure. A car. Perhaps a few pieces of fine jewelry. And if you’re planning to get a college education, your degree will be one of the most expensive things in your possession.
There’s no clearer way to say this. College education in the United States is obscenely expensive. According to recent data, a bachelor’s degree will cost you $101,000. You don’t have to be an economist to know that this amount is out of reach for most people.
It’s no surprise you’re wondering how to afford college in these economic times. The good news is college education is accessible. You just need to know how to pay for it.
Read on for a helpful guide.
Federal Student Aid
Federal Student Aid, which is part of the Department of Education, empowers over 13 million students to join college every year. It’s the largest provider of financial aid to students in the U.S.
As such, the first place to look to when you’re wondering how to finance your college education is the federal government. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and you could be in the running for student loans, grants, work-study opportunities, and more.
How much aid will the government offer you?
Well, this depends on a few variables, including whether you’re in college part-time or full-time, the cost of the school, and the expected contribution of your family.
Are there any income limits? For most people, the aren’t any. However, if your family collectively earns more than $350,000 a year and has more than $1 million in assets, you might be denied Federal Student Aid.
Apply for Scholarships
You have heard of college scholarships. You certainly know someone who has a full or partial scholarship. You can also secure a scholarship that will fund your college education.
The reason most students don’t get scholarships is they don’t know how to go about it. For instance, most will start a scholarship search when they’re ready to go to college.
To give yourself the best chance, start early – preferably when you’re still in high school. There are organizations whose scholarship programs are open to every interested student, and there are others that are open to select groups.
The Evans Scholars Foundation, for instance, runs a scholarship program that’s only open to golf caddies.
Choose a Cheaper College
The cost of college, while generally high across the country, varies from college to college. Community colleges, for instance, are cheaper than state universities.
When money is really tight, it helps to choose a college with cost in mind. While we all want to go to the best universities in the country, the truth is the cost can be prohibitive.
Don’t just look at the cost of tuition when choosing a college. Consider other associated costs, such as housing and food.
That’s How to Afford College!
In a perfect world, college education would be free and accessible to all. This world is far from perfect. College education costs an arm and a leg. Knowing how to afford college means exploring all your options, including federal student aid, scholarships, and grants.
Keep tabs on our blog for more education and career tips.