How to AFFORD a Higher Education

College tuition is in a league of its own.  It seems to me college tuition outpaces the rate of inflation by 2 to 3 percent.  If inflation is at four percent, then college tuition is increased by six percent. Even in deflationary times, like in 2009, college tuition didn’t deflate.  In fact, it inflated!  It seems we are a generation that’s doomed to be in debt as long as we continue the path of a higher education.  Understanding most young adults will be reaching out for student loans and financial aids, I ‘ve listed below ways you can affordably attend college.  Keep in mind you may still have loans to repay when you graduate, but, the purpose is keep them as low as possible.
One of the most cost effective ways to attend a college/university is to qualify for a full scholarship.  With this approach you don’t have to worry about paying for books, tuition, and/or board. However, you will have to qualify for a scholarship through your meritorious academics or for your exceptional athletic abilities. Or, on the other hand, you can do a little extra work by visiting Scholarships.com: Find Money for College to search for FREE scholarship money.

However, you will have to qualify for a scholarship through your meritorious academics or for your exceptional athletic abilities. Or, on the other hand, you can do a little extra work by visiting Scholarships.com: Find Money for College to search for FREE scholarship money.

A second approach to affording a higher education is to finance it through student loans, private loans (sometimes known as alternative loans), and/or financial aid.  Begin with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to find out if you qualify for government aid.  You can also visit Sallie Mae for private and student loans.  Another suggestion is to visit your bank’s website for education loans.  In addition, speak to your college/university if you qualify for financial aid.

A third approach is to qualify for grants.  Grants are very different from merit-based and athletic scholarships and loans that must be repaid.  They are free money.  You don’t have to pay it back.  Sources of grants are federal government, state government, and private organization.  There are grants for low-income families to individuals from diverse backgrounds.  There are even grants for women.

A fourth approach is to attend an affordable college/university. That could mean attending a school that’s in your state instead of out-of-state where you will be required to pay for out-of-state tuition.  Out-of-state tuition can be doubled the amount of an in-state tuition.  Learn if your state has a scholarship program to assist with education expenses.  For example, the Hope Scholarship is available only to Georgia residents. According to the program, “The scholarship provides money to assist students with their educational costs of attending college in Georgia.”

A fifth approach could be is to attend a community college first. Generally, the first TWO years of your college education will be completing general education classes.  These are classes that have nothing to do with your major.  Besides, most college students are undecided about their major until their 2nd or 3rd year in college. If you know what college or university you would like to attend, then you can complete your two years at a community college and transfer to the school you would like to attend.  Make sure you set an appointment with the community college’s counselor to review what classes are transferrable to the university you want to matriculate.  You will be saving more money by spending less money on tuition at a community college then commencing your higher educating by enrolling in a university. The key to qualifying for grants and scholarships is to apply to as many as possible.  This will require a bit of work on your part.  But, if your parents are not able to assist you, then you will need to combine the above approaches in such a way to achieve your higher education.