What advice can you give on paying for college? (Weekly Topic Inspiration)
How have you dealt with the high cost of college education (either for yourself or your family)? Is it best to save like crazy, get student loans, aim for scholarships, spend initial years in community college, only choose budget colleges, spend big and hope that a prestigious diploma will offset a mountain of debt, or avoid college altogether? Share your advice on paying for college as part of this week’s Weekly Topic Inspiration challenge.
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Go for as many scholarships as you can. During the first two years of college, go to a community college. Classes here are much cheaper than a university and can be even more inspiring. The first two years at my local community college made me devoted to the school. I achieved an Associate's and a Certificate at the location in three years and still wish to find another degree and remain there for life. The university I'm going to now is nice. However, I still have not achieved that intelligent connection with my teachers. They don't seem as interested in what they teach or care about the students.
I find it rather interesting that people still haven't figured this out and continue to try to find ways to pay for college. I actually just published a Hub on this very topic. Also I just wrote about 7 Easy Ways to Earn Alternative Income (The Grad Student Way Blog) while in college. I have been through 4 years of undergraduate and 4 years of graduate school. So that's 8 years of college under my belt and believe me I have found out ways to actually pay for college tuition, fees, etc. Sometimes you just can't get enough scholarships. The cost of living for example is quite high especially in bigger cities. You almost have to go to college these days just to get an entry-level job as "education inflation" has made the Master's degree the new Bachelor's and a Bachelor's a high school diploma. I would love to contribute to your hubpage and/or make a guest blog post if you would like to collaborate.
Think carefully about what college you want to attend, and why. Then see if there are any less-expensive colleges that offer the same advantages. For example, if you will be just as likely to get the job you desire by attending an in-state college, then why not choose that college rather than a more expensive private college? But when looking at the costs of colleges, make sure you take into account the net costs after subtracting any financial aid or scholarships. Some private colleges with higher tuition might end up being less expensive than state colleges.
There are many single mom scholarships available. You just have to know the right methods to find out about them, learn to write them, and understand your personal responsibilities in accepting the money. read more
As someone who completed a four year degree at a private university this is how I would go back saving money if I could do it all over again.
1. Visit your schools financial aid department and find out about all the scholarships and grants your school provides to its own students. If you're eligible for any of them make sure you apply! Then branch out and discover as many scholarships as possible that are related to your major, related to your academic and extracurricular actives, related to your family's financial situation, and so forth.
2. Live off campus if possible. I found personally that it would have been a lot cheaper to live off campus in a cheap shared apartment. If it's possible for you to do this then you shouldn't have too much trouble finding a roommate that is also a student at your school looking to save money or have more freedom off campus at least. Or better yet, live at home with family if possible and commute. Yeah you might miss out on some college social actives but it will be worth it in the long run. (No paying for outrageous housing fees that include mandatory meal plans and the other built in costs for living on campus). A couple of thousand saved living frugally off campus helps.
3. Get a part-time job. At least during your vacations such as summer and Christmas break if you feel you need to focus on your studies.
4. Don't feel pressure to go straight through school. If you feel you need to take some time off to work and save money then do so! I would also advise taking on as many paid and non paid internships as possible so you have a better chance at landing a job before or soon after you graduate.
5. Don't but any of your books or supplies at your college bookstore if you can help it. It's always cheaper to purchase textbooks on websites like Amazon or Ebay. Buy the books used and when you're done sell them back to your schools bookstore or sell them back on Amazon or Ebay. I learned this my last year and a half of college. I would have saved a ton of money if I bought my books and supplies elsewhere.
Those are just a few money saving tips that I can think of off the top of my head. If you want more suggestions feel free to PM me.
Is applying for colleges and loans overwhelming? Not any more. This hub will talk about ways to estimate your capability and avoid hefty college loans. read more
Well, all I know is that my daughter, we spent over $100,000 on her education for the "big diploma" and it really has not gotten her anywhere like you would think. It is a combination of work experience, plus the degree that makes the big different, and also what it is one major's in while in college. We did have to do the school loans some, which we would never do again, as it will take forever to pay those off. My sister-in-law just paid as she went, and I think that is best, although it takes a lot longer to get finished, and then she just kept her same job she has and never sought out one in her field of study. So, it does make one wonder about getting the degree at all. I work for the state government and they do have great jobs that come open every now and then and it does require work experience in that particular field, plus the degree to get the six figures. Looking back now, I believe one should just save, save, save and then go to college. Also try to get as many scholarships as possible.
First, plan ahead. I took classes at a local community college during and after high school, and I quickly realized how little I knew about what I wanted to do with my life. I was accepted to the university of my choice, but because my parent's income was too high, I was not eligible for financial aid. I took a few years to figure out what I wanted to do, and in the meantime I built a resume working in various fields. That resume will really benefit me when I am finished (or close to finishing) my degree and am looking for work or internships. It also boosts my chances of getting into study abroad programs and a Master's program I want to participate in.
When I decided to go back to college, I got the opportunity to attend the college I wanted but online. It's expensive, but I am over 25 now and am eligible for financial aid. My student loans will be expensive because my college isn't cheap, but now that I've lived in the real world, I have a complete understanding of how to pay back those loans, and I have seen the consequences of not paying them back. Had I accrued those same loans fresh out of high school, I would be bankrupt and having my paycheck garnished. It's tough in the real world, so planning ahead for the expense is the best way to know what you can pay.
Compare financial aid packages, apply for scholarships or grants, and really study those loan packages. If you don't understand the interest or associated loan costs, get some advice. Sit down with your financial aid counselors. That is the best thing you can do!
Fortunately for me, my education is paid for. In other words, I served 4 years as an Active Duty Marine. I didn't have to "pay" for anything. This being said, utilizing the GI Bill as well as Tuition Assistance will ensure you advance your education at no cost to you.
The Post 9/11 GI Bill will pay the highest In-State tuition. Many schools such as Vanderbilt offer programs called "The Yellow Ribbon" program which will help pay the remaining cost of what the GI Bill can't. While you are going to school as a full time student you are eligible to receive "Basic Housing Allowance" (BAH) which will cover the cost of living on top of your tuition being paid for.
I'm not saying you should enlist into the military as a way to pay for school (If you choose this you might as well become an Officer). All though it does happen, these type of people generally don't thrive in a militaristic society. The point is that serving in the military can offer you a "free" education (but, in reality you are essentially paying for it; i.e. time spent away from family, hardships you must endure and possibly your life). If you want to serve in the elite force and then continue your education, it will offer you a great way to pay for school.
Now, as I said. I wouldn't recommend someone who didn't want to join the military as a way to pay for school. This is why I would like to stress the importance of doing well in High School and applying for as many scholarships as possible. Sport scholarships can help too, but, if you get injured and decide to stop playing you may lose that scholarship which is why educational scholarship is important.
Many local businesses and professionals offer scholarships to deserving students. One of the leading funders is the Horatio Alger Assoc. This is how my daughter applied for and won that award and 17 other scholarships. read more
Paying for college can be a very scary thought. Here are some practical do's and don'ts about navigating the process, facing it head-on and becoming educated about the cost of education. The author, who just went through the process herself, gives first-hand advice about how her son was able to go to an expensive school without taking out a loan. read more
There are a lot of great schools right now with programs designed for full time working students. For example the Fielding Institute (actually has an APA accredited PhD in clinical psychology - to become a licenced psychologist) or the Union Institute. This way, you can work full time and pay for your studies instead of building up huge student loans.
At the union institute for example, there's more of a focus on reading books and writing papers rather than taking tests and exams. You can actually choose what you read in many cases so that your degree is directly related to your work. You can also build in a practicum where you get credit for things you do at work, which you are also studying.
I was lucky enough to qualify for tuition reimbursement at my firm, which agreed to pay for our degree on a class by class basis providing we kept a high gpa. Later on it got better - we had to show the university that the company would pay, so we wouldn't have to fork out expensive tuition (at that time a three unit course cost over $1000 - nowadays it would cost much more). It was the perfect solution, which gave me a great opportunity to learn at a quality university. I completed my A.A. at an excellent community college, one of the best in California. My dad and I were the only ones in the family to finish college.
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