As it gets closer to the May/June season of graduations it’s time for many to think about college costs.
Even if you don’t think you will be awarded any income based grants, you should apply for aid using the FAFSA application just in case. It’s free to apply.
Remember to check that you want to have Work-Study grants on the FAFSA application. Work-Study grants allow for students have part-time jobs on campus. They are a great way to gain work experience and a decent wage.
Apply for grants from the school you’ll be attending as well as general grant clearinghouses such as Fast Web. Site should not charge you to have access to grant information.
Consider local, in-state schools as well as out-of-state schools. There are some very good bargains to be had in education. Don’t fall for the hype. Almost all undergrad degrees are equal. Going to a school with a great general reputation doesn’t mean that your major has a great department or that you’ll be offered a job automatically after graduation. Find a school that has a great department in your major and has great connections to jobs, research, etc.
Buy used textbooks. There is no reason to pay full price for textbooks. When you get on campus you’ll see notices from other students wanting to sell their old textbooks. Buying from other students is a great way to buy book cheaply. Another way to buy used textbooks is to visit the college bookstore or buy online.
Take out loans only as a last resort. Many students get stuck in student loan ruts.
Lastly, there are college and universities that will provide enough grants to make your college experience free! I found this list of 10 schools that will provide you with a great education and expect no payment.
For those that aren’t going off to college just yet, remember that high school students can:
– Take advance placement classes that will provide the student with college credit. Placement classes are available at high schools. Students sign up for these classes with their high school counselors. They are a great way to prepare students for the rigor of college coursework and shave a few dollars off of college costs.
– Take college courses at a community college while still in high school. Many students have done so well in their high school careers that by senior year they don’t plan on taking too many challenging classes. This is folly. Taking even two classes at a community college each semester over senior year, including summer, will knock off paying for a whole semester of college costs.