For Students, Tightening Money Means Exploring Options

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Not too many people have large piles of greenbacks laying around (dont you wish?) so paying for college has to come from other funding sources. Unfortunately, the financial meltdown of 2008 hit many families in the wallet -- hard -- forcing many to look at other options for to fund their childs educational choices.

Not too many people have large piles of greenbacks laying around (don't you wish?) so paying for college has to come from other funding sources. Unfortunately, the financial meltdown of 2008 hit many families in the wallet -- hard -- forcing many to look at other options for to fund their child's educational choices.

Lots of families across the country are facing a dilemma, one brought about by last year’s financial meltdown. College savings accounts suddenly dropped in value, 401(k) plans took a hit and credit tightened up considerably. For anyone who is planning to head off to college this fall, having enough money to pay for everything isn’t a sure thing.

At SayCampusLife.com we’ve been following financial trends closely and understand that these are among the most challenging times of our generation. To that end, we’ve come up with three suggestions on how you can beat the college financing blues; please click on each title for more information:

Scholarships — We’ve written about this topic extensively, but it bears frequent repeating: there is billions of dollars of scholarship money available each academic year. You just need to know where to find it and how to apply. True, some of that funding is likely to dry up as donors take stock in their newly reduced wealth. All the more important for you to apply early and apply often.

Budget Planning — Well before you leave for college, having some sort of budget in place can ensure that you’ll have enough funds to see you through school, let alone the first semester. How much money you’ll need, when you’ll need it and where it is coming from are all important considerations. Having a back up plan in place is important too; what if your college nest egg suddenly vanishes? Think about it!

Sundry Ideas — Besides obtaining a college scholarship, what sort of other financing options are available to you? Grant money for one, as is work-study, deferments, pilot programs offered by states such as teaching in an under-performing district in exchange for loan forgiveness, etc. Yes, a lot of students will probably choose to work their way through college — I did it and benefited tremendously by everything I learned along the way.

Clearly, this is a time when families need to pull together to figure out an action plan that everyone can live with. Young adults can and should work with their parents in order to come up with a plan that won’t overly burden anyone.

Challenging times can bring out the creativity or sink you — what will your choice be?

Photo Credit: Tracy Olson

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