Alternative Ways to Fund College Besides Loans and Scholarships

Alternative Ways to Fund College Besides Loans and Scholarships
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    There are advantages to using student loans and scholarships to fund your college education, but you don't want to go into heavy debt just to attend college.


Sometimes scholarships are hard to come by, no matter how diligent you are in applying for them. You may think that there are no other options, but that isn’t true. There are alternative, creative ways to get the money you need for your education.

It’s best to look into those methods and utilize them a few months before high school graduation so that when it’s time for college, you will have the funds you need.

529 Savings Plan

If you are still in middle school, talk with your parents about starting a 529 college savings plan for you. With this plan, the maximum amount you can contribute to it varies by state, so the parents should meet with a banker to find out the maximum amount in their state.

In the past, parents have contributed up to $100,000, while others contributed less than $67,000 to the 529 savings plan. To get started, the parents should decide if they want an investment plan or prepaid plan.

The investment 529 plan operates like a 401K plan, while the prepaid 529 plan allows the parents to prepay the tuition at current rates. With the prepaid 529 plan, you can pay in a lump sum or in payments over a period of years.

Take Advanced Placement Courses in High School

You can also shave off some of your college tuition costs by taking a few Advanced Placement courses in high school. These courses help you earn college credits.

They are usually offered for juniors and seniors, and they tend to be more rigorous than regular high school classes.

Some students who took Advanced Placement courses were able to attend and graduate from college in less than four years.

Inquire About Employer Subsidized Education Benefits

For those of you who have been in the workforce for a few years, and who are trying to advance their education, you should inquire about employer subsidized education benefits.

Depending on the company you work for, your employer would fund part or all of your tuition expenses. This reduces your need for scholarships and student loans.

Keep in mind that the employer might require you to work with them for a certain number of years before your tuition is paid for. Your employer might also want you to work with them for a few years after graduation.

In conclusion, these methods of funding relieves some of the stress of applying to college.


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Categories: Finance