A college degree is a must have for anyone wishing to succeed in today’s job market, but being able to afford one isn’t always easy. Today, many former college students have horror stories of graduating with tens of thousands of dollars in student loans and struggling to find entry level jobs that will allow them to afford repayment. However, going to get your degree, whether you are a non-traditional or traditional student, doesn’t mean you have to be prepared to leverage your financial future. It simply means that in order to make college tuition more affordable, you need to be prepared to do some of the following:
Go to Community College
A four year degree is required by many employers, but that doesn’t mean that you have to spend all four years at one university. By taking community college classes during your first two years, you can get all your basic requirements out of the way and will only pay a fraction of the cost to do so. If you have high grades, transferring to a four year school will be a breeze and you will be more likely to attain scholarships.
Fill Out the FAFSA
Many students, both traditional and non-traditional, don’t fill out the FAFSA because they believe that they or their parents make too much money for them to qualify for any federal assistance. Regardless of how much money you make, you should always fill out the FAFSA. Even if you are on the higher end of the national salary average, you may still be eligible for additional grants and scholarships that will make tuition more affordable.
Apply for Scholarships
You don’t have to be just out of high school, sporting a 4.0 GPA, or be an all-state sports star in order to obtain scholarships. Anymore there are thousands of scholarships available to all sorts of candidates, and sites like Fastweb and Scholarships.com make it easy to locate them. For many, all you have to do is complete a 500 word essay or complete a quick survey to be eligible for scholarships that can be as high as $5,000.
While Discover law school loans may be a must if you get in to Harvard Law, knowing that you education will pay for itself upon graduation makes that investment worth it. However, if you are going to school simply to get a degree, taking on thousands of dollars in loans may cause future financial burdens that will keep you from attaining your professional goals.