How to Afford College: 4 Ways to Support Yourself Through College

Are you struggling to afford college?

The average cost of college in the United States is over 35,000 dollars for tuition alone each year. Not a lot of people have that kind of money on hand!

So, how do you pay for your degree? Read on to learn about funding sources you can utilize to pay for school.

1. Federal Aid

First and foremost, you should fill out the paperwork for FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This will let you know if you qualify for need-based financial aid.

This funding can involve student loans, grants, work-study openings, and funding based on the specific school you plan to attend. There’s a lot of paperwork involved in FAFSA, so make sure you get on your application sooner than later.

2. Scholarships

If FAFSA doesn’t give you everything you need, you can also apply for other types of scholarships. There are scholarships for people who participate in different activities and who are members of certain minority groups. Some ways you can qualify for scholarships include:

  • Identifying as LGBTQ+
  • Studying specific subjects
  • Being a member of particular organizations
  • Needs-based scholarships
  • Athletics, like football
  • Volunteering in your community and working for various charities
  • High academic performance in high school
  • Gender-based scholarships
  • Nationality or ethnicity

The more niche a scholarship, the less competition there tends to be. But, you’ll still want to apply as wide a variety of different scholarships as possible. There are also grants you might want to consider applying to, like Pell Grants.

3. Jobs

Getting a job can also be a route for you to make more money for your education. You can make money by working on-campus or off-campus. You can also look for short-term jobs during your breaks. There are options out there involving jobs for winter break that you can apply for.

But, you want to make sure you can balance your job with your studies. Being able to pay for school won’t do much if you stress yourself out so badly you don’t get your schoolwork done. Make sure that you schedule yourself so that you have plenty of room for resting and breaks.

4. Student Loans

Sometimes, working hard and scholarships just aren’t enough. That’s when you’ll have to look into your student loan options. Federal loans may be offered as part of your FAFSA evaluation. If you don’t get enough from the federal government, you can also consider taking out private loans.

However, you’ll want to leave these as a final option, since they can have high-interest rates and cause significant financial issues for you once you graduate.

Learn How To Afford College Today

There are lots of ways you can afford college with different funding sources. Just do your research, and you’ll be sure to find lots of different ways to pay for college.

Looking for more financial advice? Scroll through some of our other posts for more.

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