The 7 Alternative Ways to Finance Your Education Without Going Broke
June 6th is National Higher Education Day. This day was created to celebrate and promote higher education in the United States. It’s an excellent opportunity to reflect on the importance of education and how to finance it without going into debt. According to Edvisors, Americans owe more than $1 trillion in student loan debt, which is a massive burden for students and their families. This blog post will discuss seven alternative ways to finance your education without going broke.
Apply for scholarships and grants to help pay for school
There are a lot of scholarships and grants accessible to students. Merit-based scholarships are common, whereas need-based scholarships are less so. You can begin applying for both as soon as your sophomore year in high school. The sooner you start, the more likely you are to be considered for them.
Get college credits in high school through Advanced Placement (AP) or dual enrollment courses
One great way to reduce the cost of your education is to get college credits while you are still in high school. Advanced Placement (AP) courses offer an opportunity to earn college credit by taking rigorous classes and passing a standardized test. In addition, dual enrollment courses allow high school students to take classes at a local college, often at a reduced rate. By taking advantage of these opportunities, you can save money on tuition and get a head start on your college career.
Get a part-time or full-time job
One way to offset expenses is to get a job. While working, you can set aside money each month to help pay for tuition and other costs. In addition, some employers offer tuition assistance programs or offer tuition reimbursement programs that can help you pay for college. These programs are usually based on financial needs or job performance.
Look for schools with low tuition rates
Several schools offer low tuition rates. Community colleges, for-profit colleges, and online colleges typically have lower tuition rates than traditional four-year institutions. In addition, some states offer programs that allow residents to attend public colleges and universities at a reduced rate. These programs usually have strict eligibility requirements, so be sure to research them carefully.
If you have already completed some college coursework, you may be able to transfer those credits to another institution and earn a higher degree. This can be a great way to save money on tuition. Be sure to check with the school you are interested in transferring to ensure that your credits will be accepted.
Get a trade
If you’re not interested in a traditional four-year college, consider attending a trade school. Trade schools offer specialized training in specific fields, such as automotive repair, real estate, or cosmetology. These programs typically take two years or less to complete and can lead to well-paying jobs.
Join The Military
Several initiatives are available to assist you in paying for school while serving in the military. The GI Bill, for example, offers financial aid to veterans and their families. For more information on these programs, contact your local recruitment office.
Apply for financial Aid
One way to pay for college is to apply for financial aid. Financial aid can come in grants, loans, and work-study programs. To be eligible for financial assistance, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA determines your eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial aid. Complete the FAFSA as early as possible; some programs have limited funding and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note Financial Aid is not free money. Loans will have to be paid back with interest. Payments are typically deferred until after you leave school. So do not take out more money than you need to pay your tuition. You will regret it.
BONUS TIP: Start a student loan repayment plan as soon as you’re accepted to college
If you’re taking out loans to finance your education, it’s essential to start repaying them as soon as possible. By making small payments while in school, you can reduce the amount of interest that accrues on your loans. In addition, you’ll have less debt to repay when you graduate. Several repayment plans are available, so be sure to research them carefully to find one that best meets your needs.
National Higher Education Day is a great time to reflect on the different ways to finance your education. Whether you’re just starting your higher education journey or looking for ways to save money, plenty of options are available. If you’re unsure where to start, we recommend booking a free consultation with one of our financial coaches at DH Financial.
We can help you develop a plan that meets your unique needs and enables you to stay on track financially while pursuing your degree. Our mission is to help people build a foundation for a lifetime of financial wellness.
As always, stay tuned every week for more helpful tips on money management and all things financial wellness. Until Next time. Take care, and have a Happy National Higher Education Day.
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