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College fees are constantly on the rise. Most students can expect their total college experience to amount to more than $20,000 (at private non-profit colleges, a four-year course can even cost as much as $50,000).
While some students are lucky enough to have money saved up for them, even this money is not always enough to cover the total costs from the course itself to accommodation. Below are just some ways in which you can help to raise funds for college.
Most college students fund their studies by taking out a government loan. These loans don’t take into account your credit score and have income-driven repayment plans. They have fixed interest rates and many are subsidized. This can make them a better option than private loans for many people. Of course, they are still a loan – those determined to avoid student debt may want to look into other options.
You may be able to take out a private loan from a student loan bank or other private lenders. Such loans can have variable interest rates, but if you have a good credit score you could find that you pay much less interest than a federal loan. A private loan could also give you more flexibility as to how much you borrow. Just be wary that the loan won’t be subsidized and you’ll have to meet repayments regardless of income. As with federal loans, those that want to avoid student debt altogether may want to explore other options.
Some colleges offer financial aid in the form of grants and scholarships. The amount of financial aid that you’re eligible for may depend on the college you choose and any gifts you possess (sports scholarships are the most renowned form of scholarship, but there are also scholarships out there for high-achievers in other forms of academia). Colleges aren’t the people to offer financial aid – various companies and third-party foundations may also be able to offer support (there are even employer sponsored-courses available).
A lot of students work while studying, which can help to raise some extra funds. This money is usually to cover living costs like food and other essentials. You could plan to work for a year before you head to college – if you save up enough money, you may not need to work while at college. Alternatively, you could try working while studying. If you choose this option, you’ll want to look for a part-time job in which you can flexibly choose your hours. You don’t have to earn money working for an employer – those with an entrepreneurial streak may be able to find creative ways to make money working for themselves.
Recently some students have even been turning to crowdfunding as a way of generating some extra money. If you’re lucky, strangers may donate to your cause. Gifted students from poorer backgrounds are often able to generate a lot of financial support through crowdfunding – this is the type of cause that many donors with money to spare can get behind.
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