Everyone knows that the cost of attending college increases each year. Whether you go to a public or private institution, you can expect to feel a blow to your budget. Many aspiring college students give up the dream of going to college simply because they can’t afford it, however, there are some ways to make secondary education more affordable. Take a look at how you might be able to make your own dreams come true.
Complete your FAFSA
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is your gateway to financial aid. The college you attend will require it because the information you provide will be used to determine if you qualify for grants, loans, or scholarships. You may be eligible for funding that you did not know existed, so do not skip this important step in preparing to attend college.
Take courses for college credit while in High School
Advanced placement courses can help reduce your course load in college, which will lower your tuition costs. If you study hard and pass advanced placement or AP courses, the credits will apply toward your college program. For example, if you plan to major in a field like civil engineering, AP physics, calculus, and similar courses taken in high school would give you a jump start in being successful at earning a masters degree in civil engineering. Doing well in honors, advanced, and AP courses also increases your chances of getting scholarships.
Start your College career at a Community College
Many students have learned they can complete two years of courses at a community college, live at home, and earn an associate degree and transfer all credits to a four-year institution. Since you will start college as a junior, you will save a substantial amount of tuition, room and board fees cut in half!
In some states, there are early college programs that are linked to the regular high school curriculum. Students in these programs attend high school for an extra year and not only do they earn a high school diploma; they also earn an associate degree that allows them to transfer into college at junior status.
Take a year off to work and save
Taking a year off to work and save money is another way to make college more affordable. It is possible to work full and part-time jobs and make enough money to cover a couple of years of college expenses. Continuing to work part-time will help you further off set expenses while in college.
Earn a Degree Online
E-Learning is a popular way to earn a degree while working full-time, and living at home. Many public and private universities offer accredited online degree programs which means you can take all or part of your courses online at tuition prices that are comparable or less than campus-based classes.
Don’t allow the fear of finances keep you from going to college. Do the research and find out what resources are available. You might be surprised to learn that you will be able to realize your dream of going to college.
By Brooke Chaplan, Freelance Writer