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How to Fund College Tuition

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Paying for college is a major accomplishment, no matter how you do it. The bright side of the challenge is that there are numerous ways to go about accumulating enough cash to pay for your education. In addition to taking out student loans, you can dig into savings or retirement accounts, find worthwhile grants, apply for scholarships, inquire with schools about their work-study programs, or take on a job for one year between each year of schooling. There are plenty of realistic, smart ways to pay for a degree. Here’s a summary of the top five methods for finding the funding to make your future more secure.

Hunt for Grant Money

In 2018, according to top lenders, more than $280 million in college grant funds went unclaimed. The good news is that about ten times more was actually claimed and used by students for degrees in every field. You can now hire a professional grant-searching organization to do the legwork for you. Or do your own hunting as long as you have an idea of the kinds of grants you’re looking for. Pre-med and music students, for example, often have excess grant cash up for grabs. The same is true for accounting, architecture and engineering pupils.

Take Out a Student Loan

Taking out a student loan is one of the most common and smartest ways to finance all or part of an education. Every year, more than two-thirds of all college students receive at least a portion of their tuition and related expense money in the form of direct loans from the government or a financial institution. As long as you only borrow what you need, taking out a loan to pay for college is actually a responsible financial decision to make.

Apply for Music, Sports, and Academic Scholarships

Any high school pupil who has a sports, music or strong academic background can usually find scholarship money. The question is, how much is available? Scholarships come directly from schools and from institutions. It helps if you know what school you plan to attend because then you can work with that college’s finance office and get help. Whether you play an instrument or a sport, or have excellent grades, there’s a good amount of scholarship money available.

Use the One On, One Off System

An established way to pay for a higher education is to take a job for one year and attend school for one year, alternately. Many young people in the 1940’s and 1950’s used this method with positive results. Yes, it takes three years longer to graduate than the standard way, but can mean graduating with no debt and several years of employment experience.

Sign Up for Work-Study Programs

The majority of universities and community colleges offer work-study to anyone who applies. As long as you agree to put in 10 or more hours at an on-campus job each week, you can slice your tuition expenses by quite a lot. Be sure to ask about maximum and minimum numbers of work hours when you apply because each institution has different arrangements for work-study participants.

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