Not Sure How to Pay For College? We Have The Answers Here

How did you pay for college?

I put this question out on Twitter a few days ago. I instantly received a pretty interesting response that seems to be far too familiar:

@wreckon95: Still paying for it from #studentloans. Don’t do it! Work, scholarships, whatever. Student loans are an evil !$12K in interest.

How will you be paying for college if you’re a new student? How would you answer this question right now?

I wrote about how you can actually graduate debt free based on what I did personally. I do realize that my options are not available to everyone reading this.

According to Forbes, parents must have a tough conversation on college costs. This is the harsh reality of today’s climate. You can’t just blindly accept student loans as the only option.

Let’s go through the most common options for paying for college:

Student loans.

When you really need money for college, student loans are usually the first choice. There are all kinds of different student loans out there. The type of student loans that you apply for will directly depend on the area that you live in.

In Toronto, most new college students apply for OSAP.

Student loans are the easiest form of financing to pay tuition fees. If you’re guaranteed a job after college, don’t mind the debt, can’t work during the semester, and have no support from family, student loans will be a huge relief for you.

If you can work at all or have any support, I suggest that you avoid student loans as much as possible.

Student line of credit.

You get up to $10,000 per year, depending on the bank and what they’re willing to offer. You should try to shop around at different banks to find the best rates/options possible.

The catch is that you need a co-signor. So you’re going to have to ask an older relative in a stable situation to help you out.

Oh and please don’t confuse this with your student credit card. Your credit card will kill you with interest if you use it to pay for textbooks or college-related expenses.

Parents.

If your parents will pay for you, well then, you don’t need to read this article. You should check out my piece on parents paying for college (there’s a record amount of comments).

My parents helped me as much as they could. I was able to live at home for free, use their car when I needed to, and once in a while they bailed me on when I absolutely needed it. This really saved me and I’ll always be grateful for it. Now whenever I’m doing well I ensure to spoil my parents somehow for all of the help they gave me. On their 25th wedding anniversary I threw them a surprise party and I sent them to the Bahamas the year before.

Long story short: don’t expect your parents to help you pay for college, but truly appreciate if they do help you out at all.

Free money.

When it comes to paying for college, there’s nothing like free money. The most common forms of free money are:

  • Scholarships.
  • Bursaries.
  • Grants.
  • Awards.

My girlfriend received $10,000 last year in free money. All you have to do is try and apply. If you don’t ask the answer will always be no. I suggest that you look into every financial assistance option at your school.

Work during the semester.

Most programs make it pretty easy to work during the semester. As college students, we like to think that we’re super busy and productive 24/7. That’s not true at all. Get off Facebook and stop creeping your friends. You can easily work in college. You can work increased hours in the summer time and pick up a few shifts during the school year. This will tremendously help you when it comes to paying for college and all college-related expenses.

If you absolutely can’t find a job in town due to the high volume of students, you can start an online business with no money. This would help you at least make a few bucks in your spare time.

Break your payments down.

I did this one year because I didn’t have all of the money saved up for college. Most schools will allow you to break down the tuition expenses over the period of the year. I was able to pay for tuition in a few payments. This helped me out at the time and is an option you should look into if it sounds interesting.

That’s how you can pay for college and survive. All that’s left now is you have to figure out how you’re going to cut back on the booze during exams. You might also want to find a part-time job so that you can afford to go out while you’re in school. I don’t want you to miss out on the college experience. You only get one shot at it.

If you have taken all the aforementioned advice and find that you would still be struggling with payments, then perhaps it is time to consider attending an online school. Most web-based colleges allow you to transfer your current credits, and you save money on room and board as well as commuting. Online schools, such as Creighton University, offer 24/7 support for just about any issue, from career services to financial aid and tech inquiries. If you want to achieve your degree while saving a sizable amount of money, then you owe it to yourself to spend a few moments online looking into the subject.

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