Some people first start thinking about it when they are very young; others don’t think about it until much later in their lives. But regardless of when you made the decision to go to college, you should congratulate yourself for a decision well-made while college is a terrific place for personal growth and expanded horizons.
It is also the first step towards achieving the level of success you’ve probably always wanted for yourself. After all, college graduates have more jobs to choose from and generally make more money than people who only have a high school education.
Before you enroll in classes and purchase your textbooks, you will need to think about how you are going to pay for your education. Typically, the money one needs for college comes from just three places: student loans, savings, and scholarships.
Depending on your financial situation, you may be eligible to receive one or more of the following types of undergraduate student loans: federal, guaranteed federal, and private. To simplify the borrowing process, contact your college or university’s financial aid office to see if the school participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. If it does not, then you will need to shop around for the best deal you can get on a student loan.
While student loans are by far the most common way to pay for the costs of higher education, many students are able to pay for college without additional financial assistance. Most colleges and universities will have payment plans available to break up the cost of tuition into even amounts that are payable over the semester. Make a budget, stick to it, and keep miscellaneous spending to a minimum.
Scholarships are a terrific way to supplement any financial aid you are receiving. In some cases, a scholarship may even cover the total cost of your education. To improve your chances of receiving a scholarship, keep your eyes and ears open for scholarships that pertain specifically to you.
Whether you are left handed, the first person in your family to attend college, the child of an active or deceased military service member, asthmatic, or lactose intolerant, there is a scholarship available to you.
Paying for college isn’t always easy, but it can be done. If you have the determination, patience, and commitment to better yourself and seek higher education, then you have the capacity to figure out how you’ll pay for college. Do it for yourself; do it for your family; do it for your future.