Ten Ways To Pay For College Right Now
Sometimes, the hardest part is simply knowing where to begin. Here are some tips:
1) Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, even if you don’t think you’ll qualify.
2) Apply for national grants. Options include Pell Grants, Academic Competitiveness Grants and National SMART Grants.
3) Apply for local scholarships. Civic organizations and religious institutions often have meaningful amounts of aid to dole out.
4) Getting into more than one school translates to a higher likelihood of receiving a big financial aid package.
5) Bargain! Even schools that only provide need-based aid sometimes come up with drastically different offers.
6) AmeriCorps, Peace Corp, National Health Services Corps and ROTC programs offer college money in exchange for a service commitment.
7) Look abroad. At Scotland’s St. Andrews, U.S. students pay only $21,650.
8) Stay home. Starting out at a low-cost community college and transferring to a four-year college for the final two years will wipe away a hefty chunk of room and board costs, as well as some tuition.
9) The American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit are two excellent options.
10) Don’t forget to consult your local expert – guidance counselors are often aware of options you may not have considered; best of all, their help is free.