August 15, 2015

How to Finance Your Studies

Written by a Guest Contributor

How to Finance Your Studies

There is one constant feature of living and studying costs: they are always increasing. The tuition rates are getting higher, so students have to think of different ways to finance their studies. If your parents cannot cover the huge expenses for college, that doesn’t mean you should give up on your goals. Higher education is very important when you are aiming towards a particular career.

Fortunately, there are several ways to obtain the needed resources. Of course, you should start planning your budget as soon as possible, so you won’t end up unpleasantly surprised by the hidden expenses when you enter college. Once you evaluate the sum you’ll need on monthly and yearly basis, you can follow the next tips to obtain that money.

1. Apply for scholarships!

This is the most obvious way of obtaining free money. There are national funds and private financers you can rely on. If you’ve achieved exquisite academic results by now, there will be no problem for you to be eligible for an adequate scholarship. Send many applications and don’t give up until you get the aid you need.

You have few options to consider when it comes to applying for scholarships and bursaries:
  • Federal Student Aid – you can apply for different types of scholarships financed by the U.S. Department of Education. Take a look at the available options and prepare applications for merit-based programs, as well as for scholarships geared towards particular groups of people.
  • Grants and scholarships provided by big companies. Successful businessmen are usually willing to finance other people throughout their pursuit of success. If you are able to find a sponsor for your studies, you might be obliged by certain conditions. For example, you might need to work for the company when you finish your studies.
  • Athletic scholarships – these are really competitive, but you can surely get one if you are a talented athlete. Colleges offer scholarships for all sports, so ask your coach or another school official to nominate you for a program.
  • Religious organizations are also willing to help students to realize their academic capacity.
  • Local scholarships are provided by the civic organizations in your area.
These scholarships are clearly your best solution, since you won’t have to pay them back. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t need to earn them with hard work and extraordinary achievements.

2. Apply for a student loan

This is not the most beneficial alternative, but it might be the only one you have. If you weren’t able to land a scholarship, then you should consider getting a loan. Many people get in trouble when repayments hit them, but you’ll do just fine if you plan your budget and start covering installments as soon as you graduate.

Student loans are offered with competitive interest rates, so the advantages you get outweigh the possible risk of not being able to cover them after graduation. Remember: federal loans are cheaper and more beneficial than bank loans.

Read more: What You Must Do For Successful Scholarship Applications

3. Consider 529 plans as an option

This is a savings plan operated by an educational institution or your state. It includes tax advantages and other incentives that enable you to save for money for educational purposes. Talk to your parents and see if you can apply for a 529 plan. Their earnings won’t be subjected to federal tax, so they can use that extra money to pay for tuition and all study-related expenses.

There are two basic types of these plans: saving plans and prepaid tuition plans. Conduct a research and see what 529 plan your state supports.

4. Get a job!

It doesn’t matter whether you are still in high school or you’re already a college student: it’s never too early or too late to start working. This shouldn’t be a full-time job, since your main focus is on the studies. However, your desire to have fun shouldn’t prevent you from getting a summer job. Remember: all sacrifices you make will pay off on the long run.

You don’t want to work according to someone else’s schedule? Why don’t you become an online essay writer? There are many services that gladly accept talented academic writers in their teams. You’ll be working on specific assignments that will help you elevate your own writing skills and become a better student. Writing is not your thing? Then you can find another type of online job that you can do on your free time. If you have programming or designing skills, you can easily turn them into well-paying jobs that will pay for your studies.

5. Save!

Your idea of college education didn’t include budgeting, did it? You want to dress nicely, have the best laptop, and attend all parties on campus. Well, that can only happen if you’re willing to waste your parents’ money on pleasures. If you are a conscious student who wants to make his own contribution towards living expenses, then you should learn how to manage your budget successfully.

Instead of spending $100+ on a weekend with your friends, you can put that money aside and find another way to have fun. Sports and walks don’t cost much, but these activities will still make a great weekend if you have the right company. When you start saving regularly, you will notice that you have greater control over your future.

Read more: 5 Top Money Saving Tips While Studying Abroad in America

6. Sell your work!

Do you have a talent? Maybe you create trendy jewelry, beautiful art, or furniture? Then sell your creations! Create a Facebook store or fan page and promote it. Your friends can be your first clients, so you can give them a discount. If you’re good at what you do, you’ll be amazed with the opportunities that will arise. Even if you land a scholarship, this stands as an option for making an extra income that will cover your living expenses.

Don’t Miss Your Opportunities!

Remember: there is always a chance to pursue your dreams and find a way to finance your college studies. If nothing else works, you can start taking free online classes that will help you get the education you need. Are you motivated and determined to succeed? Then no force in the world can stop you from becoming the person you want to be!

Related: Powerful Resources for Local and International Students

Author Bio:
Lilly Brown, 28, is a recent university graduate whose goal is to motivate other students to stay on track with their educational plans. Her idea of having fun is attending a poetry reading and discussing the impressions with her friends afterwards. She enjoys writing on educational topics because she believes that all people have the right to get the knowledge they aim for.

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