Getting a college education can be an expensive life choice. The cost of college tuition continues to increase at a warp speed. For many, this makes college seem out of reach. However, there are ways to attend college and get that money for tuition fast. Here are five ways to help you on the fast track.
1. Make That Appointment!
The very first step to get the money you need for college is to make an appointment with the university’s financial aid office. These professionals are a plethora of financial aid information and processes. File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as you can. Don’t wait until the FASA deadline to approach, as this will limit the benefits available. If eligible, the financial aid office will then tell you what kind of an award package you will receive. This can include grants, scholarships, work-study, and student loans. Check out www.finaid.org for a solid list of financial aid awards.
Over a million scholarships are awarded every year, and these benefits can lucrative. FastWeb’s free scholarship search is a great database to seek out scholarships and fellowships that you may be eligible for. The Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplement Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) are two of the most widely used college grant programs. Awards for the Pell Grant can be up to $5,550 for each academic year, with up to 12 semesters of total aid. The FSEOG ranges between $100 up to $4,000 per year, and given on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis.
2. Trim All Regular Bills
The very first place to look is at that expensive cell phone bill. Any corners cut here will help to fund college expenses. The same goes for the cable bill, cut back the channels. Other areas to be considered are the internet services. If time in research is patiently executed, there are always areas to tweak the bill in any services. A great resource for cost-cutting ideas and also to compare company rates in all sorts of services and utilities is at: www.lowermybills.com. Food and entertainment should also be evaluated. Going out to eat adds up quickly, set a budget limit for food spending. As well, entertainment is costly. Check out free festivities, or take a walk into nature instead of handing over hard-to-come-by dollars. A movie in the theaters will soon be available for online streaming. If possible, Get a bike or use public transportation. It is healthier and more importantly, it is a healthy budget control. Any conscious effort and a whole lot of focus will add up to dollars, and less stress while attending college.
3. What Do You Have On Hand?
Everybody has something in their home worth selling. Whether it is hauling clothes down to a consignment shop, or a used item sitting in the garage, there is a dollar to be found. Used books are always in demand. Check out half.com as a way to unload books and c.d.’s. List items on a local website such as Craigslist for free advertising, and think about selling items in a different way. It is true that ‘one man’s junk, is another man’s treasure’. Pawnshops are a fast way to make a buck. Be careful though, as they typically buy at a fraction of what the item is worth. By thinking shrewdly, minimizing the home items can be a quick avenue to cash. Commit a time allotment weekly to work on to continue getting a return.
4. Time for a Fast Job!
Many college students take on a pizza delivery or food server job. The reason for this is the hourly wage can reach from $20 on up. Tips are an essential way to get fast cash. Anybody who has ever worked in food service will tell you that is why they are still there. The money cannot be denied. Grab a position in a restaurant which pays tips. Hourly wages in non-tipping food services are less appealing with more work and time involved. Every shift is a pocket full of dollars, and over a week saved, it adds up. The payroll check becomes that added bonus! Good people skills are necessary; consider this if fast cash is in mind. Also, think about selling your expertise. Areas like tutoring, writing, or music lessons can turn into a little campus business.
Crowdfunding has become huge. There are two college-tuition specific sites called GradSave and GiveCollege which allow families and friends to contribute to a college student’s savings plan. Set a small goal on these sites for maximum benefits. If it is a specific educational goal, like studying abroad, going to a broader Crowdfunding site like GoFundMe can be more lucrative.