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How can I pay for college? Please help!

Updated on March 25, 2015
erinshelby profile image

Erin Shelby is a freelance writer. She blogs at

The journey to pay for college isn't always clear.
The journey to pay for college isn't always clear. | Source

If you’ve been accepted to college, congratulations! It’s an achievement worth celebrating. Getting that acceptance letter is newsworthy, but it can also create a problem: how to pay for college. If you’re wondering how to pay for college tuition, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re a student getting ready to register or a parent getting ready to pay the bill, there are lots of ways affording college can become possible.

Community College Saves Money

If your heart’s set on a four-year college, but you need to save money on tuition, try a compromise: community college for the first two years. Many four-year schools are in close proximity to a two-year school community college – also known as a junior college. Some universities have partnerships with a community college, ensuring that credits will transfer easily from the junior college to the four year school. Taking this path can mean a 50% savings during the first two years of college. Talk to admissions representatives from both prospective schools to find out if this could save money on college costs for you.

Loans to Pay for College

In order to receive a government-sponsored loan for college, you must fill out the FAFSA- Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a free application for everyone. Another option for college loans is your local bank or credit union which will examine your creditworthiness and may require a co-signer.

Getting accepted is great, but getting free money for tuition is the icing on the cake.
Getting accepted is great, but getting free money for tuition is the icing on the cake. | Source

Do you know anyone who has received a full ride to college?

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Employer-Sponsored Scholarships

Some companies offer scholarships to the employees or children of employees enrolled in an accredited college. This is offered as part of an overall benefits package and as done to enhance a company’s reputation in the community, to build relationships with colleges and gives the company an opportunity to receive a tax write-off. It also helps companies attract a bigger pool of talent by offering great benefits.

Graduate Fellowships & Assistantships

Grad students can receive financial aid in the form of a fellowship or assistantship. In exchange for teaching a class, assisting a professor with research or tutoring undergrads, tuition waivers and a stipend may be received. Grad students do not receive as much financial aid as undergrads, so seek the highest offer.

With the Upromise program, small change can make a big impact on college costs.
With the Upromise program, small change can make a big impact on college costs. | Source

Save Money for College When Upromise

Upromise is a way to finance college and is similar to a store loyalty program. Visit the Upromise website for more information.

Loan Forgiveness

If public service is your calling, you may be eligible for a loan forgiveness program to pay back your student loans. If you’re working full-time as a teacher in a state where there’s a teacher shortage, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness. You may also be eligible for student loan forgiveness if you’re working full-time as a teacher in a high-poverty school. Other professions that benefit the public such as public health, law enforcement and much more are included in the federal loan forgiveness program. Contact your student loan servicer to find out if your student loans can be paid for under this program.

© 2013 erinshelby


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    • erinshelby profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United States

      Cre8tor, Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you discovered dual enrollment. That's another great idea that is helping a lot of parents save money and helping kids discover how rigorous college is.

    • Cre8tor profile image

      Dan Reed 

      7 years ago

      Good info. I'm lucky to have discovered dual enrollment with my high schooler and am saving thousands. This info will help a lot in the next year or so. Thanks!

    • erinshelby profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United States

      Keep it affordable is an issue for so many people, Kidscrafts. Thank you for stopping by.

    • kidscrafts profile image


      7 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I am a little bit late reading some articles.... sorry! I think in Canada the fees are not as high as in the states and that's a good thing. In Europe it's even less. I think it's important to keep education affordable to young people because they are our future and it's not good for those students to finish university with so much debts; it's a lot of stress on their shoulders!

      Have a nice weekend!

    • erinshelby profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United States

      Thanks for your comments, Billybuc and FlourishAnyway. Prices are rising so quickly it's out of control. Teaches12345, happy to hear your son received such a gift from his university or many generous donors!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      My son was blessed with a full ride to college. Thank God, because otherwise I don't know how we would have managed to help him. Excellent advice on getting the funds.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Yes, getting in is the easy part, paying for it these days is something else.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Some good advice that I suspect millions will need in the coming years...heck, tens of millions.


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