Tips for Affording College) 8/15/2011 <p>In today&rsquo;s economy, figuring out how to afford a college education isn&rsquo;t always an ea

Tips for Affording College

In today’s economy, figuring out how to afford a college education isn’t always an easy task—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:

  • Ask your employer to help. A recent study found that 84.7 percent of companies offer tuition reimbursement to their employees —some even for those who work part time.
  • Find 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.
  • 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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