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It is true that paying for college is a daunting and intimidating task. In an ideal situation, it is a long term process of building savings, using it, seeking institutional aid, free money and if needed personal loans. But with such varied avenues for financing your college costs, it often becomes difficult to choose which option might work best for you considering your personal time frame and situation.
With recent reports which show how college education debt is soaring out of control, majority of the parents and the students are feeling intimidated with their controlled income level and the rising obligations to meet. What are some of the most commonly overlooked ways of paying for your college education? If you forgot about few of them, here is a list for you to remember.
? Apply for financial aid: Even when you don’t think you can qualify for financial aid, still you shouldn’t hesitate to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. There will be times when you would rather be pleasantly surprised by the positive result that you may get.
? Apply for federal grants: There are few options which include Academic Competitiveness Grants, Pell Grants and National SMART Grants. If you seek help of your kid’s guidance counselor, he may even help you find out other viable options as well.
? Watch out for local scholarships: Religious institutions and civic organizations often have various amounts of aid which you can grab in case you’re lucky enough. You just have to be proactive enough to notice such scholarships and aids.
? Throw a wide net: How about applying to several schools at the same time? This will definitely mean increased chances of getting into more than one school and this will clear cut translate to higher likelihood of grabbing a bigger financial package.
? Keep bargaining on offers: Even those schools which offer aid based on need sometimes come up with drastically disparate offers. In case you have multiple offers on the table, you’re free to negotiate a better deal, that too with the college of your best choice.
? Look for an official benefactor: National Health Services Corps, AmeriCorps, Peace Corp and ROTC programs offer college funds in lieu of service commitment. Keep looking for such offers from benefactors.
? Stay at home: If you can be smart and wise enough to start off with a low cost community college and then transfer yourself to a 4 year old college for the final 2 years, this can help you save a chunk of your hard-earned money on board costs, room expenses and even on tuition costs.
? Seek help of a counselor: In case you need expert help, you should never hesitate to seek help of a local expert as guidance counselors are usually aware of the options which are considered best for you.
Therefore, if you’re intrigued by the tips mentioned above about paying for college, you can definitely follow the advice given by the experts.