While grants, scholarships, and loans are the most talked about ways to pay for college, they are far from being the only options. Whether you are looking for ways to pay for college before you go, or you are searching out money saving tips for college students, the following tips offer something for just about every situation.
Ways to Pay for College: Get on the Fast Track
Figuring out ways to pay for college becomes much easier when you can find ways to bring down the cost of your college education. One way to do this is by opting for an accelerated degree. Many schools offer accelerated programs that can squeeze a four-year degree into three years, effectively saving you a year’s worth of expenses. While the workload can be more difficult to manage, money saving tips for college students don’t get much more direct than accelerated programs. As these programs vary by school, be sure to contact your schools of interest and get details from each to discover which one is the best fit for your particular lifestyle.
Just as you are looking for the right college, the right college is also looking for you. You may be surprised to know that colleges and universities don’t just recruit athletes, they also have academic and cultural goals they set for their student body.
If you want to know how to save money for college in a most interesting way, perform a college search to find some schools that look like good fits for you (i.e., they offer the courses you really want, and your SAT and/or GPA would increase their school-wide admissions standards). If a school really wants you, they will find college scholarships and other financial aid options that take up part of the task on how to save money for college for you. Why? Because good students reflect well on schools.
The best part is that you might not even have to search far and wide. Some smaller regional schools right in your area might love to have you and go out of their way to help you find ways to pay for college.
Look at Transfer Student Options
One of the most beneficial and convenient ways to pay for college is by attending a local community college for a couple of years, then transferring to a larger, four-year institute. Tuition is usually much more affordable this way, which may help to answer your question of how to save money for college. In addition to tuition, if your parents are willing to put off being empty-nesters for a couple more years, you can also save thousands on room and board costs.
Give Uncle Sam a Call
It’s no secret that the U.S. Military offers ways to pay for college. What you may not know, however, is just how many options they offer when you are looking at how to save money for college.
College First – For students who wish to attend college first, then the military later, the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) offers merit-based scholarships as one of several ways to pay for college now, while asking for three or four years of military commitment upon graduation.
Another option is Military College Loan Repayment. In this instance, if you enroll after you graduate, the military will make payments right to your lender to help you pay for college after graduation. Different service branches have different qualifying criteria, so it is worth looking at each branch if these idea appeals to you.
Military First – If you are a spender, figuring out how to save money for college can add an extra challenge. Why not let Uncle Sam do it for you? Students who serve full-time in the military prior to college can earn/save up to $50,000 toward college expenses. Students serving part time in the Reserves can also receive up to $24,000 toward college in exchange for a commitment of one weekend a month, and two training weeks a year.
Military Academies – One of the easiest ways to pay for college is to have someone else pay for it. Students with a Congressional appointment to a U.S. military academy will have 100% of expenses covered by the military. Student must serve as full-time members of the military during school and make a five-year commitment upon graduation. Money-saving tips for college students don’t get much more direct than that.
While the military might not be ideal for every student looking at how to save money for college, for those interested, it can offer a college education, service to the country, and little-to-no college loan debt.
The Federal Work Study Program
While Ben Franklin’s saying of “A penny saved is a penny earned” still carries weight, when it comes to money saving tips for college students, a more accurate sentiment might be, “A penny earned is a penny saved.” Luckily for you, the federal government offers a work-study program for qualifying students.
Many schools prefer to hire work-study students as the government subsidizes part of the wages earned, making it more affordable for the college or university. Further, unlike college scholarships and grants, money earned from a work-study program is paid directly from the school to the student, allowing the student to place it where it needs to be (e.g., tuition bill, housing, books, recreation). If you want to know how to save money for college, start by helping colleges save money and let it trickle down.
Use the Internet. As college costs rise, different organizations continue to create ways to help aspiring students find ways to pay for college. In addition to the aforementioned items, continue searching for college scholarships and grants. New opportunities arise regularly, so by searching early and often—combined with the money-saving tips for college students listed above—should offer you ways to get the most of your education by using the least of your wallet.
College-Bound Student Information
In addition to tips on different ways to pay for college, CollegeView offers an extensive amount of valuable information and resources for the college-bound student. Please follow these links to discover how our articles can help you in your choice for an educational pathway: