The Secrets to Saving Money on College Tuition

You’ve applied to the schools, waited (not) so patiently to find out if you were accepted, and finally decided which one to attend.  For many students, the hard part is over, but for many more, the financial worries are just beginning.

The notion of paying for college can be so overwhelming that many parents and students do not know where to begin. There are ways to make college more affordable, so your parents can stop worrying about spending their retirement savings and you can stop worrying about being in debt forever.  These options make paying for college feasible.

1.  Scholarships/Grants

Scholarships and grants give students money towards tuition that they do not have to pay back.  Many students do not take the time to apply for scholarships, increasing your chances of receiving them.  Scholarships are offered for a wide variety of things including interests, financial circumstances and field of study.  Scholarships and grants can be found by visiting school offices and by searching online.

2.  FAFSA

FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  The government student aid site provides a list of documents needed for filing as well as help from a customer service representative if needed.  It is important to file this application as early as possible and to make sure you follow all instructions to ensure the maximum chance of receiving aid.  This is very important to apply for because federal loans are available to almost anyone.  These loans also have excellent interest rates and offer flexible repayment options.

3. Loans

Apply for as many scholarships and government loans as possible before taking out private loans.  Those applications take time but can save a lot of money in the long run.  If taking out a private loan becomes necessary, make sure it is a student loan and allows students to postpone making payments until after graduation.

4.  Job

Do not be afraid to get a job when you start college.  While the college lifestyle is a huge transition, it generally does not take up more time than high school.  High school students attend school for about seven hours a day and then have sports, extra-curricular activities and homework.  As a freshman in college, most days, students attend class for less than five hours.  This extra down time can be filled with a part time job.   Looking for a job on campus is a great place to start.  These jobs work well around class schedules and often offer a work-study program to help pay off tuition.  Furthermore, a job not only helps financially but can also be a great place to meet people.

There is no secret way to make college more affordable.  All the money-saving options require time but are absolutely worth it.  Any extra money relieves some of the financial burden that accompanies college, whether it comes from a scholarship or from working a job.  College is supposed to be one of the best times of your life so why wouldn’t you do as much as you can to decrease financial stress and enjoy it?

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Laura Szatkowski

Laura Szatkowski

Laura Szatkowski is a senior at Central Michigan University studying public relations and English. Laura enjoys being busy, juggling work and school, and has plans to one day spend her time traveling abroad. When not busy, Laura, the middle child of three girls, enjoys shopping and spending time with her friends and family.
Laura Szatkowski

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