Although you will enjoy the experience tremendously, going to college will cost you at least an arm and possibly a leg. If you accept the fact early on that you need extra funds to pay for this investment, then you'll be motivated to start looking for financial assistance opportunities.
Here are the five best ways to pay for college.
Scholarships are a prospective college student's primary aid objective. Apply for as many scholarships as you can, because if you just get one, you'll end up saving thousands of dollars on your college costs. Scholarships do not have to be paid back. You may have to fulfill certain requirements, but you are not going to make any repayments on your scholarship awards. Scholarships can be need or performance-based. There are scholarships out there that cater to every single imaginable identity, from football players to cancer survivors to Mormons. Put in the time to find scholarships that you are eligible for, and apply for as many as possible.
Grants are the next best thing to a scholarship. Grants do not need to be repaid. You can receive thousands of grant dollars from your university as well as local, state and federal governments. Make sure that you have filled out all the grant applications you qualify for. Get your FAFSA turned in early every year. The more free money you get, the less you have to pay back. So get on the ball and start looking for grants.
Loans are not as appealing as scholarships and grants, but they can come in very handy. If you get a student loan, you need to understand what you are getting yourself into. Subsidized loans are awarded based on financial need. They do not accrue interest while you are in school. Unsubsidized loans are not need based. When you take out an unsubsidized loan, you will accrue interest while you are in school. Be sure that you go to your loan exit review, so that you understand the terms of your repayment obligations once you graduate.
Get a job. Pay as you go. Invest as you invest. If you have money coming in, you'll be more secure during and after your college experience.
You can always hit up your family members for money. Be honest with each other. Know what to expect and what's expected. Have all the facts out on the table so that you can plan accordingly.
If you prepare for the financial impact of college, you'll be in a better position once you graduate. Do not absorb anything. Get the answers to your financial questions ahead of time, and remember to apply for aid at least one year before you a