What happens when you want to go to college but you aren’t eligible for student financial aid? It may seem that your college dream is impossible, but don’t worry. There are ways to make college happen for you. So, if you’ve been thinking, “I can’t get financial aid, how to afford college,” read on and find out.
Can’t Get Financial Aid, How to Afford College Without It
If you have been looking at college tuition costs you may be suffering from sticker shock. Even so, if you don’t qualify for financial aid, there are ways to pay for college. Here are some of the best tips to do just that.
1. Spend Your First Two Years At a Community College
I know for a lot of people starting college they dream of going to some great four-year university.
That was true for me as well.
However, that isn’t the best idea if you want to make college more affordable.
The cost of tuition at community colleges is much less expensive than at universities and you can typically live at home while you go to school. That means your living expenses will be much less as well.
This will save you thousands of dollars per year.
Besides, most of the classes you take in your first two years of college are general studies classes. That means you can take them anywhere and you don’t need to overpay for them.
You just want to be sure that all of your classes are transferable to a 4-year school.
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2. Check Out Scholarship Options
Beyond local and state scholarships, many colleges have scholarships available.
Having good grades is important when it comes to these funding options.
I received a couple of scholarships when I went for my undergraduate degree from my university simply due to my grade point average.
The school offered me $10,000 dollars per year which covered half of the tuition rate. Those scholarships allowed me to go to a private school that I would not have been able to afford otherwise.
All college applicants should visit the financial aid office of the university they want to go to. These people are your friends and will help guide you. They will know what types of scholarships are available and the eligibility requirements for each of them.
Just do this sooner rather than later as often these financial aid programs are first-come, first-serve.
3. Take a Year Off to Work
When you finish high school, instead of going right into college, take a year off to work full-time and save this money.
If you live with your folks, saving money for college is easier as your expenses are less and your earnings can all go into your savings account.
I know as a school senior, you might be dreaming about starting college right away, but working for a year can be a solution to your money problems.
Combine this with going to a community college and the first two years of your education can be quite reasonable.
4. Go Ahead and Fill Out the FAFSA
Even if you don’t think you can qualify for federal student aid, it makes sense to fill out the FAFSA anyway.
You might find other student aid through the financial aid office that you are currently unaware of such as a work-study program.
Besides, if you can’t find any other type of aid, you might have to consider a federal student loan and this form is a requirement for receiving one.
If you are still dependant on your parents then family income will play a part as to what you will be eligible for.
5. Other Student Loans
While we are talking about student loans, you should also look into a private student loan. For middle-class families, this can be the way to go.
Of course, your parents or your own personal financial situation will determine whether or not you will be approved.
Just be careful with student loans no matter what type you may take out.
Only get enough to cover your costs. Don’t fall into the trap of taking all that they offer.
Keep in mind, you will be paying these student loans off for years to come.
6. Go to College Part-Time
While it is great to go to college full-time, going part-time, and working at the same time can make school more affordable.
Yes, it will take longer to graduate, but it will make it easier to pay as you go.
This will reduce the number of student loans you may need which will make you much happier when you finish.
If you are working full-time and going to school part-time, college costs are much easier to handle.
7. Find Out if Your School Has a Monthly Payment Plan
Most universities do offer a monthly payment plan of some sort. This means that instead of having to come up with the full tuition payment in the fall, you can pay this amount monthly over ten to twelve months.
That can make it a bit easier to come up with the money.
There is typically a small service fee for this option, but it is usually quite small such as $50 dollars which is nothing when compared to the full tuition bill.
8. Find a Less Expensive School
Everyone has a dream school, or two, but those dreams tend to come with a higher price tag and rates.
While it’s great to go to some fancy private school if you can afford it, it makes a lot more sense to get a good education close to home that has lower rates associated with it.
Sometimes, you have to set the dream school aside and find a learning institution with a good program that you’re interested in at a lower cost.
You will still get a great degree and you won’t have to break the bank or take out as many student loans.
To Sum it All Up:
If you aren’t able to get a Pell Grant or other federal grants, there are ways to be able to afford to go to college such as going to a community college, taking a year off to work full-time, and even student loans. College doesn’t have to be out of the question if you really want to go.