While being an extremely rewarding experience and one that will set you up for your future, college is also a time and financially intensive experience, and sometimes it can feel daunting to take the plunge. However, with the right planning and preparation, you will be able to minimize the distraction of money worries, allowing you to focus on what really matters when it comes to your studies. Here are our top tips for affording college.
Use Student Loans
Student loans have acted as a lifeline for many new students over the years and will more than likely be something that you are already considering. However, it is all too common for students to make the mistake of settling for the first lender they come across, without investing the necessary time and research into the process. In doing so, they enter college unaware that there are a number of private lenders available who are willing to offer a better repayment schedule and lower monthly payments once you have finished your degree. Therefore, we recommend ensuring you take the time to thoroughly research the options available to you so that you can select the student loan that is best for you and your situation.
Do you possess a skill or talent that you have perfected over the years? Perhaps you’re a prodigy when it comes to your current sports team, or maybe you’ve mastered a musical instrument? If so, then it may be worth considering an application for a scholarship. Many colleges and universities offer scholarship programs and, if you fulfil their requirements, these programs will more than likely offer a significant reduction in your student tuition fees. Furthermore, applying for a scholarship will also only serve to strengthen your application to your chosen college, so it is well worth taking the time to find one that you could possibly be suited for.
Apply for Grants
A grant is similar to a loan, in that an organization or individual will give you a set sum of money in order to finance your studies. The key difference, however, is that most grants will not require you to pay the given amount back to the person who gave it to you, making it an ideal choice for many students, particularly those with a less financially stable background. Grants can be applied to for a variety of reasons, such as subsidizing an individual or group with a specific set of talents in a similar vein as scholarships, to providing an extra support boost for those who may be struggling economically during their first year of studies. If you think that you would benefit from a grant, then it is well worth getting in contact with the student support team at your college and enquiring as to whether they know of any grant opportunities.
Take on a Part-Time Job
If you believe you have the time and energy to invest into a part-time job during your studies, it will represent a consistent and stable source of income that you will be able to rely on. In addition, depending on what you choose to study, it may be worth seeking a role that will give you more experience in your chosen degree, as this will benefit you when it comes to applying for a full-time job after your studies.
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