If you are considering your options for college, don’t forget to think about the financial burden of your education. Getting the degree you want is possible without going into serious long-term debt. Presented by FreshSkills, here are the best ways you can manage the crushing cost of college without sacrificing your financial future.
Choose a Low-Cost Online Program
First, check out online programs in your field. They’re often less expensive than traditional in-person programs and allow you to study at your own pace. An online bachelor of science in education, for example, opens the door for opportunities to work with preschoolers and elementary-aged children. With the ability to learn on your own time, online coursework allows you to reach your educational goals while still taking care of your other responsibilities.
Consider Community College
Another low-cost option is a community college. A number of states, including Arkansas, Delaware, New York, and Maryland, offer free community college or scholarships that cover tuition in community college programs.
Apply for Scholarships and Grants
You can also do research into scholarships and grants that help lower the cost of your education. Scholarships may be available through the university, professional organizations, communities and the state’s grant system.
Get Financial Assistance
If you are a low-income student, you may also qualify for financial assistance. You will need to fill out a financial aid form,the FAFSA. This form asks for your financial information and details about your parents’ income as well. The federal government, the state, and the school can offer financial assistance if your income qualifies.
Evaluate Low-Cost Loan Programs
Even after any scholarships or financial assistance, you may still come up short. Be sure to do some research about low-cost loan programs that can help you cover the rest of your expenses, such as books, fees, and room and board. The cheapest option may be a federal Direct loan.
Ask Family for Help
Students may also turn to family to help them cover the costs of their tuition and college expenses. If your parents aren’t able to help, talk to grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other extended family members to get financial support for your studies.
Get a Part-Time Job
Once you’re enrolled in an academic program, you may also need to work to help pay for your living expenses and tuition. Many students are able to manage a full course load and a part-time job during their college years. Some great options that don’t require too much time include pet sitter, data entry clerk, rideshare driver, food delivery driver, blogger, or tutor.
Enroll in a Work-Study Program
You may also want to think about enrolling in a work-study program, which allows students to work part-time on their college campus to help pay for the cost of school. Work-study jobs are usually very flexible and accommodating to a student’s needs. Jobs range from administrative, teaching, research, or student life positions.
Find Ways To Save
Lastly, to graduate from college without a mountain of debt, you need to look for ways to save on your educational expenses. Cut back on room and board by living with your parents if possible. Avoid pricey book charges by renting your textbooks or buying them used and selling them at the end of the semester. Eat cheap food, like ramen and macaroni and cheese.
Get your degree without putting yourself into debt with thousands of dollars of student loans. Try these suggestions to get a low-cost college education.