Many people fret over how they are going to pay for a college education. All throughout high school they are inundated with information about how expensive college is, and pushing them to go to various Universities. For those that will not get a full ride at a University, and those that simply cannot afford to dish out tens of thousands of dollars for college should consider some alternatives to going straight to a 4 year University.
If you take some simple steps, and work your way through college you will be able to complete your college education without owing thousands in student loans.
1. Do not be lured into a false sense of security when you are offered student loans at low interest rates, and deferred payment until 6 months after you graduate. If you get into these programs you will often be paying the loans off the rest of your life, and the initial income difference with an education will be used up paying for that education.
2. Go to a Community College. Many Community Colleges have tuition as little as 20 dollars a unit, and in most cases this is waived by the stated. You will find that Community Colleges offer two years of schooling that is transferable to most Universities as the first two years there. Doing this will save you 2 years of paying tens of thousands of dollars for school.
3. Fill out your FAFSA online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov or through your local Community College. This is the federal aid application program. It will qualify you for various grants, but the main one is the Pell Grant. The Pell Grant is free money with a maximum of $5,550 a year. You are not required to pay it back or account for it. Since your first two years are free tuition, you could use a few hundred for books, some for expenses, and save the rest for when you transfer to a University.
4. Get a part time job. This may sound like too much, but many people successfully work full time jobs and are still capable of going to college. If you need more money (and we all know you do) you can always write essays to earn some extra cash.
5. Try online classes. Online classes are great. They are easier, and require much less time compared to a traditional class. You will be able to dedicate more time to your part time job, and won’t have to worry about transportation costs.
6. Keep saving any extra money you have. You have two years to do it. This may be difficult, but if you save your money now you will be able to buy a lot more luxuries later on in life.
7. Transfer all your units to your University. Public Universities are by far the more cost effective way to go. Cal State University charges about $6000 a year for tuition depending on the school. Minus your Pell Grant you should be able to cover the extra one to two thousand required for tuition and books with your savings and part time job.
It is easy to complete your college education without owing tens of thousands by the time you get your degree. Just follow the above guide and you will be well on your way.