Your college education is a stepping stone towards achieving one of your bigger dreams in life. However, funding college tuition fees and other miscellaneous expenses can be challenging. That’s why many students resort to taking out student loans to complete their college education.
You may find student loans the best solution to your money problems, but paying them back can be painful and confusing. New college graduates have six months’ leeway before they start making debt payments. While repayment plans are available that run for 20–25 years based on your income, the stress and hassle could be tremendously burdensome.
If you don’t want to find yourself later on working so hard just to pay your long-term debt, check out the best ways to fund your college education without student loans in this post.
1. College Education Fundraising
You might feel uncomfortable asking people to donate for your college education. However, there are many ways to fundraise without actually knocking on doors. College tuition fundraising is possible with the help of online fundraising platforms such as Givebutter. It involves reaching out to your community using an online fundraising platform that provides everything you need from collecting to tracking donors and donations.
Here’s how you can go about fundraising your college education:
- Create Your Fundraiser Profile: Set your goal, tell your story, and attach a photo or video in an online fundraising platform.
- Share: Once you have a fundraiser profile, you can share it with family and friends via email, text message, or social media.
- Manage Donations: You can accept donations, withdraw funds, and thank donors using a centralized dashboard, automatically.
2. Applying For Late-Deadline Scholarships
Because of economic hardship and other personal issues, students could take advantage of extensions in college scholarships. Many of these late-deadline scholarships are still available for students who pursue careers on specific fields, such as nursing, veterinary, and public policy.
Check out the following possible sources of late-deadline scholarships:
- Your School’s Financial Aid Department: Contact your college’s financial aid office to find out remaining opportunities such as institutional scholarships. Some students decide not to attend the last minute, so you can grab them by having inside information.
- Your Parents’ Employer: Some employers give back to their employees by accepting scholarship sponsorships to their employees’ children in college. If you’re working as a part-time employee, you might want also to ask your employer if they’re sponsoring college tuition fees.
- Your Community Or Local Organizations: You can reach out to the community or local organizations, charities, and foundations in your hometown awarding scholarships. They don’t always advertise extension of deadlines, so it’s up to you to discover these opportunities.
3. Applying For Aid
You can fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the form schools and universities use to determine which aid or grant you quality for, such as school aid, state aid, work-study programs, and federal grants.
Your parents don’t need to worry about any income cut-off for you to be eligible. But you need to meet the deadline, so find out this information with your school or state. Colleges will look at your profile and will send an award letter of a grant or scholarship. Some colleges offer a loan, but don’t forget to read the fine print before you get too excited.
4. Consider Going To A Community College
Community colleges refer to two-year public institutions offering certificates and associate degrees. They’re not bad at all because they simply offer a different form of higher education with different goals than university options.
Attending one for the first two years allow you to progress on your college education. You can go to a community college, which has a more reasonable tuition fee, and transfer to a university or four-year school to get your bachelor’s degree after. In addition, the schedules of community college courses are flexible so you could take part-time classes, if needed, and opt for tuition based on credit and not by semester.
Other options available include trade schools that offer vocational courses to help hone your skills and better prepare you for college. Undergoing skills-based training is one way to gain marketable knowledge and skills without paying that much for tuition fees that you can use as a stepping stone and an edge as you pursue higher education options.
5. Work While Studying
One way to earn money for your college education is to work and study at the same time. Many students do this to avoid student loans and achieve their dreams with their own hard-earned money. They strive to handle academic projects and work at the same time because of their great motivation and commendable self-discipline.
You can find possible jobs while studying college through the following:
- Work-Study Programs: Most work-study jobs are on campus, which is a convenient way to handle work and schoolwork. You need to make sure that your paychecks go toward your school expenses and not for good time activities.
- Off-Campus Jobs: If you’re finding ways to keep your cash flow above the red during college, you can try off-campus jobs as a part-time worker. You can try applying in food chains, restaurants, shopping stores, and even in offices accepting part-time positions. It’s a huge advantage if you can find a part-time job that’s in line with your career goals.
- Side Business: You can handle a side business in college to earn extra money such as teaching guitar lessons, tutoring, or making handmade crafts. You can also become a freelance writer, designer, or marketer.
- Freelance Jobs: With the advent of modern technology, hunting a part-time job that pays good money is possible online. You can work as a freelancer. Check out some online freelance job portals, and you’ll find many people looking to outsource tasks even to undergraduates. Try applying as an English tutor and earn decent money in which you can teach English language to Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese online.
You have plenty of options to fund your college education such as fundraising, applying for aid, and checking available late-deadline scholarships. All you need to do is keep yourself abreast with the latest information to know the right timing and find the right resources where you can source funds for your college education. Don’t hesitate to ask help from your family, community, and helpful organizations in your area. You might just find a generous person or company to sponsor your college education.