If there's one thing most scholars can agree on, it's that college is both important and expensive. Beyond that, colleges considered to be of high-quality cost even more, making it difficult for most students to manage, particularly those whose parents are not able to help. Luckily, there are options. This article lists just a few of them.
1. Apply for scholarships. Students demonstrating talent either in or out of the classroom may be awarded one or more college scholarships for their efforts. High grades, tremendous athletic ability, musical talent or passion for becoming involved in school or the surrounding community can often lead to free financial assistance. See what's available to you and do not hesitate to apply for several.
2. Fill out the FAFSA. Accessible through fafsa.ed.gov, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is precisely what it says it is. Fill out a free application and see if you're eligible for grants or special student loans of any kind. While some of this money is 'free' money, some are loans that may need to be paid back down the line. Through FAFSA, you maybe eligible for special federal loans like subsidized Stafford loans, which will cost much less than most standard educational loans issued through banks and credit unions.
3. Consider loans. While it's true that loans must be repaid, there are a number of special, low-rate student loans available today. The idea behind loans is that, upon graduating, you will earn more than you would have had you not gone to college, and will therefore be capable of funding your education much more easily. NextStudent.com is a highly recommended place for private student loans
4. Start a savings account. It's never too early to start saving for school. Even half of your summer job earnings can make an impact, and working through the school year will not only improve your saving potential, but show admissions offices that you're capable of both working and attending classes.
5. Consider Junior or Community Colleges. While many students may not like the idea of attending one of these institutions, it can be a tremendous money saver. Many students are able to attend only for the first couple of years, and then transfer into a more prominent school. This cuts costs for at least half of your education down tremendously, and your final degree will typically come from a higher quality school.
6. Work, work, work. If all else fails, budget and work through school. You can take classes part time, or, if your job pays well, continue with a full schedule. Tipping positions, such as those in the food industry, typically pay much more than other jobs, but one may be expected to work late now and again.