Student Life

8 Smarter Ways to Pay for School

Elizabeth Hoyt

July 29, 2017

8 Smarter Ways to Pay for School
There are smarter ways to pay for school than piling on student loan debt!
No matter what school you attend, college is expensive. But, did you know you can make smarter decisions regarding your approach to paying for school? The Showbiz Cheat Sheet compiled the following options you have when it comes to approaching your tuition. Instead of piling on student debt, here are some smarter ways you can utilize to pay for school:
1. Apply for Scholarships You’re on Fastweb, which is the first step! Fastweb's database has scholarships for every type of student – you just need to let us find them and apply. Fill out your Fastweb profile fully in order to be eligible for the most scholarships possible. We’ll do the grunt work for you by matching you to scholarships you're eligible for and send them right to your inbox.
You can’t win if you don’t apply, so apply for as many scholarships as possible. Scholarships are a great way to help pay for school, without you actually having to pay for school! 2. Enter Contests Similar to scholarships; entering contests is another great way to help relieve the tuition burden.
From essay contests to sweepstakes and promotions, there are endless options available for every student. While some may take a little more effort, it will definitely seem worth it once your tuition bill arrives! 3. Negotiate Your Tuition Rates
Believe it or not contacting your admissions office and asking for a better rate can actually work. You never know until you try! Why not try? The worst they can say is no and, if they say yes, you’ll save on tuition. 4. Start a 529 or Coverdell Plan This method is for those thinking about attending college in the future, but is still far off. Starting a 529 college savings plan or Coverdell plan allows savings to be set aside for college through a section of tax code. Consult with a professional when considering one of these plans, since plans differ based on the state you live in. 5. Arrange for an Employer to Pay the Tuition Cost There are a variety of different options when it comes to employers covering the cost of a college tuition – and they include students of all ages. For example, younger students can join the military, since members of the ROTC are eligible to have their college costs covered. For older students returning to school, employers will often pay for loyal employees to earn higher degrees, like an MBA, when the employee makes a commitment to work for the employer for a certain period of time. If you’re not sure if your employer is willing to cover the cost of a degree, it never hurts to ask! It’s beneficial for the company to invest in its employees, so more employers are willing to cover costs than you might think. 6. Prepay the Cost of Tuition Financial hardships can make it difficult to utilize this option but, when planned for, it can be very helpful. If you decide to prepay tuition, many schools allow you to lock current rates which means, if the cost of your college rises, you still won’t have to pay more, which is definitely good news. 7. Apply for Student Debt Forgiveness If you’ve already acquired student debt; this is the option for you. It’s most beneficial for those who have already graduated since you apply through certain employers. Employers associated with charities or the governments are your best bet, since many allow workers to apply for student loan forgiveness. If you’re a recent graduate and are looking for ways to alleviate your student debt, try looking for employment at companies, like Teach for America or working for the government. If you’re looking to alleviate your debt quickly, some companies are even willing to pay off student debt in exchange for a salary reduction. 8. Apply for Government Aid Ever heard of a fun-filled document called the FAFSA? While filling it out may not be a blast, it's a great way to get government assistance to pay for school. Learn more about the FAFSA, including basics like what it is, where to apply and how to fill out a FAFSA form.

What are the smarter ways you've utilized to help cover college costs?

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