Never put off college because you don’t have the money right now.There are plenty of ways to pay for college if you’re not able to pay for it directly. While some formal financial aid methods are safe bets, there are at least a few informal methods as well.
1. Get a Job
If you can’t get the money, why not beg for a job? While fast food is a great place to learn some basic responsibilities, it might not pay for more than your daily milk shakes. Look for jobs, perhaps in the family business, which require more than basic skills. Commit yourself to attending college in the evenings. If you work yourself up in a company that does well – perhaps as a receptionist or an administrative assistant, you might be able to eventually get tuition reimbursement from your company along with better job opportunities down the road in the company where you’re currently working. Even if you do just work for minimum wage or close to it, working full-time and sharing an apartment with some friends should leave you enough to pay for tuition part-time.
2. Apply For Scholarships
Scholarships are the holy grail of financial aid for college. With scholarships, you’re earning money ahead of time by seeking out the opportunity and meeting all of the criteria. Often scholarships require intense preparation of portfolios and projects. Other times the scholarships are rewards for years of hard work with grades or a skill. When you win a scholarship, you’re not required to pay the money back, but you can lose the scholarship if you fail to meet all of the necessary criteria.
3. Obtain Grants
Grants are much like scholarships in financial aid for college, although often a bit easier to earn. Grants do need to be repaid in one form or another. The grants are offered with strings attached. Usually you have to finish a particular course of study and then work off the grant in a certain career field. If you fail to work in the necessary field, you might be required to repay the grant funds. At the minimum, you’ll need to keep careful records of your study or provide some sort of project or other deliverable in the course of your education.
4. Take Out Student Loans
One of the least desirable methods of financial aid for college is the easiest to obtain. Student loans are expensive to repay over time simply because the college tuition is so high, but student loans don’t require anything of you during the course of the school years. When you graduate from school, you’ll be required to repay all of the student loans you accumulated. Ideally, however, you’ll have a job that lets you easily afford to do exactly this.