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How Can I Afford College?

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if you are nearing the end of high school or wanting to change careers, you’re probably going to have one question on your mind. How much is my college education going to cost me and how can I afford it? And are there any financial schemes available to help me out?

if you want to continue your education you have to face reality. A college education is expensive. There are extensive options and then there are the less expensive options. But there are no real cheap options.  Wikipedia states that the average annual tuition for a university in your local state is $7000 per year. Multiply that by three or four years and you’re looking at a significant financial commitment.

Tuition cost is the most confronting number when considering if you can afford to go to college. At the tuition fee is only a fraction of the money again to have to pay for the privilege of becoming a student. Hidden costs can include food, transportation, housing (where board is not provided), cash for everyday living, textbooks and other general fees. This pushes the average total price of a college education at a local university from $7000 to $14,000 per year. And if you are a mature age student returning to part or full-time education you also have to consider the loss of income in this equation.  If you normally do paid overtime for extra money then your weekly pay packet will drop because you now spend that time studying.

Given the financial commitment a college education requires, many families are looking into their financial aid options to help meet their costs. Previously, scholarships and grants were generally associated with students who came from lower to middle class families. But given the financial climate even the more affluent families are looking at their options to ease their financial pressures. The first choice free students wanting financial aid are college grants and scholarships.
 
Grant and scholarship programs are popular because they don’t require students or their family to pay back the tuition fees. These are two types: (1) base on need, which is given due to the financial inability of the student and the family as a whole; and (2) base on merit, the talent of the student for example in sport is the main consideration. The student’s academic ability also falls under the merit-base college grant and scholarship.

Qualifying students can apply for a number of  federal and state scholarship programs. Some of which are the following:

Federal or National Pell Grants – this is a program funded nationwide intended to endow assistance to any qualified undergraduate learner pursuing post-secondary schooling. Grants and scholarships of this kind are given to those who have not finished a baccalaureate degree.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) – this is a program for ongoing undergraduate students with outstanding monetary need. However, not all students can apply for this type of grant. This will depend on the eligibility of the students and availability of finances of the concerned school.

For the students who do not qualify for a scholarship, they still have options available to them.  The most common is a student loan. This type of financial assistance has to be paid back over time though. If you choose to go down this pass, make sure you understand all the terms in your lending agreement such as the schedule of repayment and interest rates, before signing or making a commitment.

 


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