Most students don’t need to be told how expensive college can be. Between tuition fees, books and resources, accommodations, and cost of living, costs can mount up. Not only is college expensive, but the average cost of college continues to increase!
The cost of a college degree alone stands at around $25,290 per year on average, accounting for all the expenses above and transport. Over the last decade this cost has increased and it looks set to rise again.
While an entire article could be dedicated to why college is so expensive, this would have little use for aspiring students. What matters most to current and prospective students is how to pay these costs.
College will undoubtedly be one of the highest costs of your life, which is why student loan debt is the highest source of debt in the USA. However, you can greatly reduce these costs if you take the right steps early on.
In this article we have outlined a few ways you can pay for college. Using a combination of these methods should help you get through your college education with minimal debt. Be sure to talk to your friends and parents about different options if you’re looking to get a college education. They can help you get a head start on financial preparation and paying some of the costs associated with a college education.
How To Pay For College
One of the most common ways of paying off college fees is through a college savings fund. You’ll need to start on this one early, as well as get some help from parents, relatives, or others close to you. Even for older students a college savings fund can still be an option, with a savings account helping out with higher interest rates.
A college savings account usually isn’t enough to pay off an entire education for most people. However, it will help reduce the amount you need to pay, and help you meet your fees more easily.
If you are considering a college education in the future, start saving immediately. Even if you decide not to pursue college, it will still leave you with some money in the bank.
Student loans are the most common method of paying for college. They are incredibly useful as they can clear your college fees immediately. In the case of federal student loans, they are widely available to most people regardless of credit rating or income.
Regardless of which option you choose, there is a major drawback to student loans: the major debt they can lead to down the road. The high interest rates, large loan amounts, and length of repayment terms can result in a substantial amount to pay back. For this reason, student loans should always be supplemented by one or more other payment methods on this list.
Stipends, grants and scholarships
Funding from colleges and government organizations are often thought to be reserved for the athletically or academically gifted. Meanwhile, many people believe that relief funds are only available for disadvantaged students.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you spend enough time searching through scholarships, bursaries, and grants, you’ll find there’s something available for almost every type of student. Though these rarely pay off the entirety of college costs, they can go a long way in reducing what you owe.
Make sure to research all available funding options for your college and degree program and apply for as many as possible before looking into other payment options.
Teaching positions (for returning graduates)
Teaching positions are a great way to cover costs for graduate students returning to do their masters or doctorate. These part-time teaching positions can not only cover your college costs completely, but they can also leave you with a nice profit too!
Regardless where you are going your postgraduate studies, be sure to inquire about teaching positions available over the duration of your program.
Part-time student jobs
Another common way students make ends meet and cover the cost of college is through part-time jobs. These include positions such as serving, bartending, or even research-based jobs that offer flexible schedules, fewer hours, and relatively good pay.
A part-time job can be held down before college to help save, during college to assist with living costs, or after college to help pay off loans and other debt. By itself, this strategy will take a significant amount of time and effort to pay off your debt completely, so be sure to supplement it with another payment strategy. This will help to pay off your debt early and efficiently.
Wrap up and take home points
A college education is one of the biggest costs of your life, and it keeps rising. Between the cost of living, tuition fees, and supplemental materials, it’s no wonder that college is such a huge investment. Preparing early and having a plan in place to pay for college expenses can ensure that you pay off your debts as quickly as possible.
College savings funds, funding options such as grants and scholarships, and part-time jobs all offer a level of flexibility to pursue your studies and pay for school at the same time. Don’t let the high costs of a college degree deter you. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
For more great college tips, check out more blogs at College Basics!