Deciding how to pay for college is anything but a picnic. Depending on where you go to school, your education could cost as much as a mini-mansion! But what do you do about it, not go to school? Having a bachelor’s degree opens up a whole world of opportunities that a high school diploma doesn’t.
Don’t be confused—you still can build a happy and successful life with a high school diploma. Your value isn’t determined by the level of your schooling. However, there are specific career fields that require you to have a bachelor’s degree at the least. If you need to go to college but don’t know how you’re going to pay for it, continue reading to learn about ways to cover your education.
Apply for Grants
The main thing to remember about paying for college is that you’re investing in your future. On average, the median income for college graduates is 56% more than for non-graduates. That comes out to about $1 million over their careers. Getting a college degree is an excellent investment.
One way to help pay for your schooling is through grants. Grants are like monetary gifts that you don’t have to pay back, so any awards you receive are yours free and clear.
When you’re a senior in high school and planning out your college career, you should fill out a FAFSA form to determine your eligibility for financial aid. How much you will receive in grant money will depend on several factors, including the tuition rate of your school, your parent’s income, and high school grades.
Apply for Loans
When you fill out the FAFSA form, you will also qualify for loans that will help cover some or all of your tuition. There are two types of school loans that you can get to cover your education—these are subsidized and unsubsidized loans.
Subsidized loans are need-based loans. These loans depend on what your parents expect to be able to contribute based on their income. It also factors in how much money you get through grants and scholarships. The interest on unsubsidized loans doesn’t accrue as long as you are in school at least part-time.
Unsubsidized loans don’t depend on your parents’ income—meaning that they aren’t need-based. Also, these loans do accrue interest while you’re in school. You will probably have to use a combination of both to pay for your education.
Finding loans won’t be that hard, but you still need to mindful of your options. You should use a loan comparison tool like LendingBuilder to make sure that you get the best possible interest rate.
Work Your Way Through School
Because college is so expensive and life is so busy these days, people have had to adjust how they attend and pay for school. Many students are choosing to go to school online because it allows them the freedom to work full-time and bear a full class load if they want to. You can get an online criminal justice degree while still providing for yourself and your family—if you have one.
Online schooling is more prevalent among adults who are in their late twenties to late thirties and already have established families and careers. The class schedules are flexible to busy lifestyles, and online programs are often less expensive than on-campus programs. With the flexible schedule and lower tuition, you can still get financial aid, work your way through school, and take care of your responsibilities. If you’ve been adulting for a while and have a career and a family, then online courses are ideal for you.
College is expensive, but you don’t have to go crazy figuring out how you’re going to pay for it. Be aware of the many options at your disposal, and choose the ones that are best for you.