If you’re not happy and feel stuck in your present occupation, going back to school and getting your degree can open the door to new opportunities. But with the cost of a four year degree well over $20,000, you might think twice about attending school. If you have piles of existing debt or no money for college, the thought of incurring a high debt can invoke panic. Don’t let this stop you from changing your life.
Here’s a list of the top ways to finance your college education.
1. Grants and scholarships. College planning resources are widely available, and many schools are willing to offer advice and discuss financial options with you. There are various types of scholarship and grant programs available. You’re likely familiar with academic scholarships. But in addition to these, there are also scholarships for minorities, scholarships for women, creative scholarships, as well as off-beat scholarships. Plus, there are various types of grants available according to financial need. Visit different schools and speak with a financial aid officer to learn your options.
2. Federal student loan. Available to anyone regardless of income or credit history, a federal student loan can provide cash to complete your college degree. And the best part, repayment of a federal student loan doesn’t start until six months after graduation. To keep your student loan manageable after graduation, be selected about your courses and only borrow what you need.
3. Corporate sponsorship. If you don’t want to apply for a student loan, consider a sponsorship. This is when an individual or a corporation agrees to invest in your education. They’ll provide you with cash for school. In return, you pay the investor a pre-determined percentage of your income for a fixed period after graduation.
4. Tuition-free schools. If you want to avoid a massive student loan debt after graduation, look into tuition-free universities and colleges. In exchange for your free education, you agree to work on campus a set number of hours each week. Students typically work between 15 and 20 hours a week.
5. Tuition reimbursement. Some employers don’t advertise education incentives. But if you work for a large corporation, the city government or the school system, you may be eligible for tuition reimbursement. In this case, your employer agrees to pay all or a portion of your educational expense. But there’s a catch. You have to work for the employer throughout school, and for a specific number of years upon graduation.
Individuals with a degree typically earn more money over their lifetime. And with a degree, you may be eligible for better job opportunities. Regardless of your current financial situation, higher education is possible. Learn your options and then discover the best way to finance your education.