It’s never been more important to get a college education than it is right now. College degrees are often required for even entry-level jobs and are an essential factor in the success of young people as they move into the workforce. Unfortunately, a college education has never been more expensive than right now either. With rising tuition costs, it may seem like going to college is an impossible task. However, there are a variety of different options that can help make going to college a reality. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best ways to make college more affordable.
Scholarships – The first step you should take when trying to make college more affordable is to apply for scholarships. There are a variety of different scholarship options available to students, including ones from their specific institution, national scholarships from corporations, and many more. Scholarships are often awarded for academic success, but can also be awarded based on things like merit, community service, military service, and student-specific factors, such as awards for diversity and minorities. It’s also important to apply for local scholarships in your area. These may be from local organizations, like businesses or nonprofits. They may not be for as much money, but they often have much less competition than bigger, national scholarships. One college scholarship program even covers up to one-quarter of a 4-year tuition at participating private colleges.
Financial Aid – Another essential step to making college more affordable is to apply for financial aid from the federal government through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA program helps low-income families by providing free financial aid for their children to go to college. It’s important to apply early, as families that submit their applications early on also generally get awarded the most financial aid.
Start at Community College – Starting out your college career at a community college is a great way to help save on the cost of a college education. Community colleges are usually significantly cheaper to attend than other schools, which allows students to finish up their general education classes while saving money, and then transfer their credits to another institution later on.
Attend an In-State Institution – Similar to starting out at a community college, attending an in-state institution will provide students with a cheaper college education than going to a school in another state. The college you choose will have a significant impact on your education costs. Even with in-state tuition, public state schools are still the more affordable option compared to attending a private college. Most schools also offer regional tuition exchange programs, which let students receive a reduced rate on their tuition as an out-of-state student.
Commute to School – Another great idea to help make college more affordable is to commute to school. Room and board can make up a substantial portion of your college costs, especially if you are living in a dorm on campus or an apartment nearby. Living at home and commuting to school allows you to cut down on your expenses and decreases the amount of financial aid you will need.
Avoid For-Profit Schools – For-profit colleges are schools that are mainly interested in making money off of college students and not providing them with a useful education. Educators and policymakers have claimed that for-profit colleges target underserved students with impressive promises, but students are then left in debt with no viable career options. A 2019 report reveals that 83% of for-profit college students took out loans to pay for their education and, on average, they graduated with $39,900 in student debt. These numbers are much higher than the statistics for students at public colleges and even those who attend private nonprofit schools. It’s important to properly research the schools you are interested in and make sure that they will deliver on their promises to you so you don’t end up wasting your time and money.
Get College Credit Before Enrolling – Receiving college credit before you ever even enroll in college is also a great way to cut down on education costs. The more credit you can accrue beforehand means the fewer college courses you will have to take (and pay for). You can earn college credits early through Advanced Placement courses at your high school, dual enrollment programs, and the College Level Examination Program.
Attend Summer School and Make a Plan to Graduate Early – It’s crucial to approach your college education with a clear plan and stick to it. If you plan properly, you can end up graduating early and, ultimately, spending less money. Many students take summer courses to help reduce the amount of time they spend in college, which results in less money spent on classes, room and board, and transportation.
UA Abundance Packages – If you are looking for ways to help a loved one afford college, you can also purchase Universal Achiever (UA) Abundance Packages. Like an annuity, you pay a lump sum and then begin to receive payments in the future. However, UA Abundance Package bundles also benefit others as they can be used to provide a grant package to specific recipients, like someone attending college or even a favorite charity. This is made possible through the combination of various revenue streams within Universal Achievers (for profit business) and UA Legacy Grants (nonprofit business). The funds amassed are distributed with variable payouts based on maturity. You can then use these funds to help your loved one pay for their college education. Each UA Abundance Package that is purchased or granted also includes a specific college scholarship program benefit that can help students pay for up to a full year of tuition.
At UA Legacy Grants, our mission is to empower over 1 million individuals with the tools needed to increase financial literacy and the ability to create financial abundance for their families. Our grant packages help individuals and organizations to reach their financial goals, like making college more affordable for students, through our Earn By Giving program.