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7 Affordable Ways To Pay For College

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There is no denying that college is expensive. People spend their entire savings or take out loans to get into one. Despite these measures, most end up with crushing student debt by the time we finish it. However, you also can’t overlook the importance of higher education in the current job market and, consequently, long-term financial growth.

Most of us would love for a way to pay for college without accumulating debt or at least reduce the amount by a little. So we did a little research and found that while you cannot avoid paying for college altogether, there are a few ways to afford college without breaking the bank.

1.  Apply For Scholarships

There are many college scholarships sponsored by government agencies and private organizations and trusts. The best part is that you don’t have to pay back the scholarship amount. Scholarships are generally awarded to students with exceptional capabilities in academic, athletic, or artistic fields.

They are also awarded if you are from an underrepresented or marginalized group, plan to pursue education in specific fields of study, live in a particular area of the country, or demonstrate financial need.

You can use scholarship search tools to search and find relevant scholarship information.

2.  Negotiate Your College Tuition Rate

It may come as a surprise, but it is possible to negotiate a deal with your college or university on the costs of attendance, fees, and tuition. You can try this approach when enrolling in a private or public educational institution.

You may be able to lower your tuition bill by 5 to 15% through negotiations. However, you should keep in mind that the final tuition amount will be up to the discretion of the college authorities.

3.  Enter Scholarships Contests

Entering contests is a great way to relieve your college tuition burden. You can participate in an essay or creative contests or enter education sweepstakes to acquire money for college.

For sweepstakes, you may be asked to complete a form, answer a few questions, and provide contact information to be eligible. However, bear in mind that due to the random selection procedure, you are less likely to win.

4.  Speak To Your Employer About Paying For Tuition

It is a known fact that members of the ROTC can have their college costs covered, which is why younger students sometimes choose to join the military. But did you know that it is common for employers to fund the college expenses of their employees?

Employers pay the college tuition of loyal employees if the employee makes certain commitments. Speak to your employer to find out if any such arrangements can be made for you.

5.  Prepay Your Cost Of Tuition

If you plan to attend college but not anytime soon, you can opt for a prepaid tuition plan. This option allows you to pay for your college tuition at today’s rate. A major benefit of this option is that even if the cost of your tuition increases, you won’t have to pay more.

6.  Apply For Federal Student Aid

Federal student aid offers you many options to pay for colleges like loans, grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and more. It covers expenses such as tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, and transportation. It can also help with other related costs like a computer or dependent care.

While student loans are not a favorable option, federal student loans come with fixed and low-interest rates, multiple and flexible repayment options, deferment and grace periods, and more that make it a lucrative option.

You can apply for this option by filling out the FAFSA form, which is completely free.

7.  Apply For Student Debt Forgiveness

If you’ve already racked up student debt, then applying for student debt forgiveness may help. It benefits those students who have already graduated the most since you apply through certain employers.

Many government employers or charities allow their workers to apply for student loan forgiveness. Some companies pay off student debt in exchange for reduced wages. If you’re a recent graduate, you can consider working for such employers.

Federal student aid offers loan forgiveness, cancellation, and discharge programs for its borrowers. You can get your entire or partial loan forgiven if you qualify for these programs.

Student debt can be a nightmare, so it’s best to avoid or at the very least reduce the debt amount. Planning early, managing expenses, and saving money are good options to keep you from going into further debt and will help you in paying off your loans soon.