9. Apply for Work Study
Most universities offer a healthy work-study program. Most of the work is offered at the school itself and is university related.
If you can see yourself picking up some hours at the library or in the parking attendance office, this route is for you. I recommend this job after exhausting all aid options and if you have a flexible schedule. The program usually pays more than minimum wage, and if you choose your job according to your career you can rack up invaluable work experience.
8. Get a Part Time Job
This is close to work study, but gets a higher ranking for the flexibility. Sometimes work study can be restricted in the scope of the job, and I truly believe in making your time work for you.
With that, I recommend choosing a part-time job that will assist you in your future career or help in making a decision for career choice. Obviously, the money is the benefit as well.
7. Live at Home
I walked out of college with no loans, and I partially attribute this to the fact that I lived at home. I don’t recommend this option for everyone, because it is definitely not the same college experience, and not available for everyone.
If you have dreams of moving away or your dream school is across the country, then take out the loans. But, if you have a comfortable home close to university – this can save you up to tens of thousands of dollars.
6. Shop Your Acceptance
Make sure you are getting the best deal. Position universities against each other, and see who can offer the most money up front.
This depends on how well you did in high school – including GPA, sports involvement, community service – and many other factors. But if you have the resources available – have the colleges fight for you.
3. Financial Aid
Financial aid is a savior. Depending on your home income, you can qualify for thousands of dollars in discounts. Make sure to fill out FAFSA early, because aid runs out quickly.
This is not applicable to everyone – but try working part-time for at least a year and you can qualify as an independent. Getting off your parents' income will free you and allow you the maximum financial aid.
Grants get the number 2 spot, just because they apply to everyone. Most people with a minimum GPA and a clean record qualify and federal funding can be thanked for that.
A high school or community college counselor can help see which ones to apply for and best options.
Scholarships are the best way to pay for college. They are mostly merit-based, but most times they offer the heftiest amount.
Scholarships are available at the local, state, and national level and offered for almost any reason under the sun. Study hard in high school or junior college to reap the benefits of scholarships fully, and diversify yourself with extracurricular activities.