College is an important stepping stone in your life, but it can be quite expensive. That's why many people are looking for different ways to pay for their education which can sometimes be tricky. However, you have various options you should look into to see which fits your life best. Here are four ideas on how to pay your college expenses!
Apply For Grants
One of the best motivators to further your studies is the scholarships and grants available to college students. Applying for as many grants and fellowships as possible can free up a lot of money that you would otherwise need to find from other sources.
There are different types of grants, some of which are based on merit, while others are needs-based. It’s important to do your research and find out what is available to you. The best place to start is the website of the grant-giving organization. You can also get information from your school’s financial aid office.
It may take some effort to apply for grants, but it will be worth it in the end if you score even one of them. Not only will you have reduced your tuition bill, but you will also have demonstrated your commitment to education and hard work. And that’s something that any college admissions officer will appreciate.
A unique, yet very effective financial aid that some colleges offer students is finding discounts. While you are unlikely to find a coupon for your local college, there are lots of discounts available in other areas. For example, you might be able to find a coupon code that offers you college textbooks for free if you buy two or more textbooks from the same publisher. In addition to used books, look at online and rental options. Often the older textbook version is virtually identical but charges a fraction of the price.
While it sounds small, as you need to buy books and materials each semester, these savings really add up over time!
Be on the lookout for other discounts. Couponx.com offers an amazing Udacity coupon code that will help you waltz through learning a specific skill or gaining a certificate without going broke in the process.
Work Part-time Jobs
Part-time jobs are probably the most popular way to pay for college. Employers like working students because they are more likely to be available during the day and can work fewer hours per week, making it easier for them to balance work with school. The way to look at it is that every single dollar earned working in college is one that you don’t have to pay back later. There are tons of different part-time jobs that you can find, many at your school itself. Here are a few ideas:
> On campus jobs working in different departments or the library
> Serving as a teaching assistant/grader for professors
> Working at a retail store or as a waiter can be attractive as their demand for hours is often on weekends or evenings when you are not in class
> Pet sitting, dog walking and house sitting are often appealing as students tend to have free time at odd hours and this will minimally interfere with studies
> Other students might work in landscaping, painting, moving or house cleaning as there can be demand on days where they are off
Having a job also allows you to stay more independent from your parents, while you can learn valuable skills working in the real world. While many jobs are just for money, some will give you exposure to an industry you might want to work in. You can also work in an area where you have a passion, such as working at a local vet if you love animals.
Some of these jobs are more common among students than others. Working at a retail store or working in the service industry (waiting tables, working as a hostess, etc.) are unsurprisingly very popular among students. Not only can you work these jobs while you’re in college, but they can often employ you over summer and class breaks. For a few students, there is also a chance that it will turn into something bigger if you enter a management program at your employer.
Another factor to consider in finding working part-time jobs during school is that there are tons of resources available to help you get hired. Your university probably has an online job board where employers post their current openings and students can browse them. Again, there are many jobs at the school as well so you don’t even have to leave campus.
Why do future employers care? When seeing a student worked through school, they know they’ll be hiring someone who understands the importance of being punctual and working hard as well as having time management skills because they have learned to juggle classes and work. They will factor this in when looking at your grades as well.
Take Out A Loan
Student loans are one of the most common ways college kids can pay for their education. You can either take out federal loans or private loans. Federal student loans come from the government and are given to you based on financial need. Private student loans come from banks and credit unions and are given to you based on your credit score (and in some cases a cosigner). Government loans generally have the lowest interest rates and best conditions. You should definitely shop around however.
Although it is common, you should know that it's expected from you to start paying back your loans six months after you graduate (unless you go on to further schooling). Unless you have a deferment or forbearance, in which case you don't have to start making payments until after that time period.
College can be quite expensive, which is why you have some different ways to finance it such as grants and loans. You should definitely consider working part-time just like many of your classmates probably do. At the same time, be sure to apply for grants so that the government or other organizations can help you out. Finally, if all else fails, you can take out a loan and pay it back once you get a steady job. Good luck and don't give up!