Most people dream of going to college one day or at least putting their kids through school to get a bright education. While there are all kinds of great scholarships and loans available, sometimes these are not enough to foot the bill, especially with the increasingly high costs of a traditional college education.
Fortunately, though, there are many alternative ways to pay for college or to at least make up the difference between what scholarships and loans don’t cover. If you’re still struggling after exhausting other resources, just try one or more of these great options.
Pay In Cash
Sometimes, as simple as it may seem, your best choice is just to pay college costs, or at least those costs that loans and scholarships don’t touch, out of your own pocket. While this prospect might seem daunting, there are many ways to raise funds.
You could create an online fundraiser where you can ask friends, family, and loved ones to make donations towards college costs. If you’re good with online marketing, you could even create a (hopefully viral) video or social media posts to try and get others outside of your regular network to donate.
There’s also the option of you and/or your student taking on odd jobs to raise the fees. Driving for Uber, doing transcription online, pet-sitting, and more can all be effective ways to raise cash quickly.
Plus, many schools offer payment plans for those who are paying their college debts in cash. While this method may take some real work and effort, at least you won’t have to worry about paying back high-interest loans.
Fill Out A FAFSA
When it comes to paying for college, never neglect to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly known as the FAFSA. So many families ignore this form because they think they make too much to qualify for any aid, or because they think they couldn’t possibly exhaust any more resources.
However, federal resources are different and often more plentiful than general scholarships and loans. So, yes, this form may direct you to loans for which you are eligible, but the terms are often much better than other loans.
Furthermore, filling out the application will also alert you to grants for which you or your student may be eligible, grants often come with hefty funds and no required payback as long as you meet specific terms. Even if you don’t think it will do you any good, why not take a few moments to fill out the FAFSA and see what happens? The results might surprise you in a good way!
Talk To The School
If there’s a school that you or your child really want to attend, but that you just can’t seem to afford, don’t hesitate to talk to the financial aid office, especially if the student in question will be a great asset to the school, such as in terms of sports ability, academics, or other qualities.
Many financial aid offices can be an excellent resource for finding other forms of aid that you didn’t know existed, especially when they really want a student to attend. They can also work out payment plans and other special arrangements to make attending that specific school possible.
Be polite, go to the office in person, and be willing to provide documentation of any expenses that have otherwise not been accounted for, as medical costs. If you are convincing enough and the school wants the student badly enough, something can typically be arranged to work out tuition costs. As you can see, paying for college is possible. You just have to be proactive and to make it happen in any way you can!
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