How to Pay For Your Education Without a College Savings Account

How to Pay For Your Education Without a College Savings Account

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Let’s face it: not every college student has the funds to pay for their education. College savings accounts have been around since today’s college bound students were born, but not everyone has one. Even with an account in place, you just may not have enough money to cover your college expenses.

You can pay for your education with or without a college savings account. Here is how.

1. Consider your school choice. Even with financial aid considered, the price tag for your school may simply be too high. You can, however, ask for a reconsideration — your student aid may come in lower, making college much more affordable. If your appeal falls short, then consider your other and less expensive college choices. Avoid getting saddled with student loan debt.

2. Reach out to loved ones. No college funds? That is no fun! Without cash your choices are: paying more for college and going into debt, choosing a less costly option or not going to college at all. If your parents are not able to provide much assistance, survey your other relatives. If you have an especially generous relative or friend, they can give you up to $14,000 per year tax free.

3. Ask foundations and corporations for money. Foundations large and small as well as corporations provide funds to help students. These funds are known as college scholarships and are available for eligible students. Billions of dollars in scholarship monies are awarded each year and you can apply for as many as you want. Gifts may range from a one-time donation of $500 to enough money to cover your education for four years. College scholarships are gifts too — free money that is not repaid.

4. Work your way through college. For many students, attending college full time is a dream. But, for many others that dream is far from a reality. Instead, they work and they go to school, balancing the two in a bid to further their education. Many students may be able to get by with a part-time job while others will have to work significantly more hours to obtain the money to pay for their education.

5. Seek reimbursement from your employer. Instead of completing your education in four years you may decide to work full-time and attend classes on the side. You can still get your degree, but it will take you several more years to accomplish your goal. Nevertheless, by working full time you may be able to afford your education. Moreover, many businesses provide tuition reimbursement to employees that successfully complete a class. Check with your Human Resources department to find out if this benefit is available to you.

6. Apply for a Pell grant. The federal Pell grant program provides financial assistance to eligible students. You need to first fill out a Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) before you can apply. The maximum amount to be awarded each year adjusts. Currently it sits at $5,500. Unlike a student loan and very much like a college scholarship, your Pell grant does not have to be repaid.

7. Save money first. With little money to show for it, you may find that working full time for a few years, living at home and conserving your cash will give you the best chance for affording college. While many 18- to 22-year olds are in college, many schools are populated by older students, so you will fit right in when you choose to start your education.

Education Dreams Deferred

Your college education dreams may be delayed or deferred because of your financial picture. But like any goal, you can still reach it if you consider your options. Yes, student loans are a possibility, something millions of students turn to each year. If you feel comfortable with maintaining a debt load, there are both public and private student loan options available for you.

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Categories: College Budgeting