College Life Series: Financial Planning and Scholarships


Congratulations! You’ve finally been accepted into the college of your choice and you’re on top of the world, right? Wait a minute. How will you be paying for the next four (or more) years of education?  Do you have a college fund? Attending a state school is helpful in keeping costs down, but are there more ways to help pay for your future education without a mountain of debt?

Why is college so expensive?

There are many factors to consider when trying to figure out the reasoning for the high price of a college education.  Of course, we know that some of the money does go to the faculty and staff that is required to run a college as well as the basic infrastructure costs. However, it doesn’t seem that colleges are getting that many additional  professors and their salaries have not made a dramatic increase. So, why is there such an increase in tuition? According to the website Business Insider, tuition has more than doubled in the last 35 years. It is suggested that an increase of students means an increase in financial aid programs which consequently means an increase in the tuition that the colleges and universities charge.

Well then, how to pay for college?

Get help from an expert. For some it might be worthwhile to get an independent financial advisor to help you make a financial plan for college. They will be able to tell you the ins and outs of different payment avenues to get you on the right path for success with your college plans.

Federal Work Study programs– One way to help with college tuition is for eligible students to participate in a part-time work-study program which is sometimes on campus and other times off campus. It is important to fill out a FAFSA- Free Application for Federal Student Aid as availability is limited.

529 plans This is an educational savings plan that is operated by a state or educational institution to assist families in investing and setting aside funds for future college costs in qualified colleges around the country. The best 529 plans include many beneficial tax breaks for investors.

Scholarships- If applicable this is definitely a great way for college funding and there are numerous possibilities.  Many scholarships are simple, and most average students have a chance to fill out a questionnaire or meet certain qualifications that are often unrelated to grades.

  • Do you work at a fast food restaurant? There are quite a few that offer the opportunities for scholarships. Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s are among the possibilities.
  • Sports Scholarships– If you excel at a sport there might be a college scholarship in your future.
  • Take a look at the scholarship possibilities offered quarterly at LetsHomeschoolHighschool.com!
  • ScholarshipOwl– Enter your information and this website will let you know the possible scholarships that you qualify for.
  • Scholarships.com– This is similar to Scholarshipowl. Just enter your info and it will show you scholarships to apply for.

College Grants– Another avenue to look into is grants. While scholarships are often based on merit grants are based on financial need. The money from grants can be used for tuition, books, housing and other school expenses. To see if you qualify you must fill out a FAFSA. This helps colleges know how much financial aid you qualify for.

 

About 

Joy Capps is a homeschool bookworm residing in the mountains of western North Carolina. The only one who loves books more is her 16-year-old daughter. They both enjoy perusing old bookstores for treasures and sniffing books. Her son who is 18 has special needs, is the social butterfly of the family and has never met a stranger. Although she is originally from South Dakota she now calls North Carolina her home and she and her family love exploring the great outdoors. Her family has been homeschooling since 2005.


August 6, 2018

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