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 Wall St. CheatSheet
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
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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
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
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 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
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.
You can learn more about the FAFSA here
, including basics like what it is, where to apply and how to fill out a FAFSA
What are the smarter ways you've utilized to help cover college costs?