You Can Afford a College Degree All On Your Own

You Can Afford a College Degree All On Your Own
  • Opening Intro -

    Paying for college is one of the hardest parts of getting a degree.

    You may have excellent high school grades, a degree plan that suits you, and the drive and dedication to obtain it.

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But then you might get stuck on paying for the degree part. Many people’s parents cannot afford to send their children to college due to needing to provide for themselves and the rest of the family. Do not let the price tag of your dream deter you from achieving your goal.

Here are five ways to pay for college all by yourself.

Make a Plan

Going to college is not something to take lightly. It is something that takes much thought and determination. Planning ahead will make it much easier. Talk to your high school counselor to see if you are able to enroll in community college while in high school, this is called dual enrollment.

If your school offers Advanced Placement classes, it is possible that you will be able to earn college credit. You might consider taking a personality or career assessment to see what type of career fits you the best.

Also, make an appointment with your counselor and make sure to ask questions about financial aid and student loans. This way you can start calculating the costs.

Research Your Higher Education Options

You may have heard that a bachelor’s degree is the only way to be successful. For some, their dream career requires this. But be sure to look into junior colleges and career and colleges. It is possible for you to learn a trade and begin working in two years or less by attending a career college.

If you are adamant about saving as much money as you can, you may consider going to a smaller junior college to get your basic classes out of the way, and then transferring to a university for your major courses.

Take time to visit different campuses to ensure that you find an environment and culture where you will be successful.

Look At Your Finances

Did you work during high school and were able to save money? Do you plan to work while you are in college in order to pay tuition?

Take a look at your budget and bank accounts to determine what money you already have that can go toward your college fees. Keep in mind what your education plan costs, and break it down by semester costs.

Come up with a plan that you can afford. Be sure not to enroll in something that will leave you unable to pay for your necessities like rent, food, and transportation. While you are creating your budget, look at areas where you could save money, like going out to eat less or using public transportation.

Apply For Scholarships

The beauty of scholarships is that it is money that will not accrue interest and does not need to be paid back. The good news is that there is a scholarship for just about anything, literally.

You can apply for scholarships that are strictly for first-generation college students, for being a minority, and there are even scholarships for being left-handed.

All you have to do is research and apply. Keep in mind that many scholarships require essays or interviews. This can be time-consuming but will be worth it in the long run. Talk to the supervisor at your current workplace to see if they offer scholarships to their employees.

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Compare Your Financial Aid Offers

Once you have applied for federal and state financial aid, sit down with all of your offers. Look at grants and scholarships that may be for one semester, one school year, or up to four years. Do not be afraid to take out student loans when needed, just do so responsibly.

It is important for you to know the difference between subsidized loans, those that will accrue interest while you are in school, and unsubsidized loans that have a fixed interest rate. Research payment plans that will be available after you graduate to make sure your future salary pays well enough.

Image Credit: you can afford college degree by twenty20.com

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