How to Help Make College More Affordable) 8/25/2011 <p>In today’s economy, it can be taxing at times to try to figure out how to afford college—although

How to Help Make College More Affordable

In today’s economy, it can be taxing at times to try to figure out how to afford college—although it’s well worth it. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that earning a college degree can mean earning nearly $1 million more in your lifetime! Here are some tips on financing your education without racking up thousands in loans:

  • Look for employer assistance. A recent study found that 84.7 percent of companies offer tuition reimbursement to their employees —some even for those who work part time.
  • Seek out scholarships. Do some research. Scholarships are available for a wide range of students.
  • Test out of entry-level courses. College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams and Advanced Placement (AP) exams can save you thousands on general requirement courses.
  • Pay your way. Many students balance taking college courses with full or part-time jobs. Calculate how much of your income you can devote to your education, and plan your college schedule accordingly.
  • Serve your country. The military offers great education benefits to help pay for veteran and active duty soldiers’ college courses.
  • Fill out a FAFSA. Even if you don’t plan to use student loans to finance your education, filling out the FAFSA could help you determine if you qualify for Pell Grants.
  • Be a part-time student. If you can’t afford to take a full load of courses, consider taking classes on a part-time basis. Many students feel that the slower schedule is well worth not going into debt.
  • Take school seriously. You don’t want to pay for a class that you failed (and may have to retake), so be sure to set aside time to study and be a successful student.
  • Be frugal. For many students, going to college without the help of student loans means making some sacrifices. You might choose to eat out less or skip a vacation this year. Make a budget, and stick with it.

Have questions? Contact a student finance counselor to learn more.

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