The best way to pay for college is to start saving early. But sometimes that is not an option and other avenues have to be pursued to receive a college education. There are several options that can be used to pay for a college education if you do not have the funds. Below are a few of those options:
- Financial Aid – The key to getting financial aid is taking the time to explore what the best option for you is. In terms of financial aid, there are grants, work-study programs, and student loans. The majority of financial aid is available through the United States Department of Education and almost 70 % of that is given in student loans.
The first step to take is to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. You can download this form from their website at: www.fafsa.ed.gov. On the site, there is also valuable information about financial aid for students. You can also receive the form from FAFSA by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID.
- Tax Breaks – You can possibly be eligible for tax deductions as well as credits towards tuition, costs, fees, and interest from student loans. However, you must know these options are available after you have already paid the tuition and are more like rebates than discounted tuition. To find out about tax breaks you can look on the internet at Federal Government Tax sites and look under education tax breaks. It is not only the students who can qualify for these as families can also qualify for tax breaks for their child’s education.
- Scholarships – Many people think a scholarship is only for whiz kids and star athletes. This is definitely not the case as many scholarships are based on your major, the type of school, and ethnic background. There are many organizations, businesses, foundations, and clubs that offer scholarships as well. You can find these on the Internet and many can be found at the public library. Your high school guidance counselor can also have valuable information on the many ways in which to receive a scholarship.
- Community College – Considering the prices of universities these days, and tuitions are always on the rise, a good option to look into is attending a community college for two years before transferring to a four-year university. Most of the classes that are offered at a four-year university during the first 2 years are the same general education classes offered at community colleges but at a fraction of the price. Many community colleges also have special arrangements with four-year universities which are in proximity to them as they want those students to attend their institution. Many offer automatic entry if you take certain required classes as well as earn a certain grade point average. Another advantage of a community college is you can save even more money by living at home for those two years, as paying for dormitories and apartments at a four-year university can be very costly as well.