As education costs increase and the economy makes a slow recovery, more students are looking for ways to finance their education with less risk than previous generations. Fortunately, there are many ways to acquire money for an education that can pave the way towards a top career in a field students are passionate about. Here are just a few tips towards making your educational dreams a reality.
1. Federal Loans
The upside of federal loans for higher education includes a generally lower interest rate than private loans and lack of a need of a credit score to qualify for them, but the downside is that funds can be limited (especially for undergraduate degrees). However, federal loans that are both subsidized and unsubsidized can often be the lifeblood of a student’s tuition payment plan.
2. Private Loans
Private loans can be a wonderful tool for financing an education because they allow for greater amounts of tuition and living money to be taken out. However, students should make sure they have good credit scores or a good co-signer before applying for private loans. Savvy students should also watch out for high interest rates and be sure to question whether their degree will qualify their for their repayment plan. (Taking out $100,000 to qualify for a $40,000 per year teaching job might not be a good idea, for example.) Higher One fees can be simple when campuses use them for disbursement services.
Spending two years at a community college or small state school, earning high grades, and then transferring to a prestigious college for junior and senior years is a great way to nearly halve the cost of a top-notch education for students. It’s a bit of a gamble, since transferring can be a mysterious process at some colleges, but working hard for straight-A’s can earn you acceptance to a dream university that might otherwise be too expensive to attend.
4. Freelance Work
Learning a skill like computer coding can give students flexible part-time contract work that can significantly cut down on living expenses. Earning an extra $15,000 a year for part-time work that can be done from home can help pay for groceries, rent and utilities, for example, and when working from home travel costs can be saved.
For these reasons, finding a good method of funding for the right education doesn’t have to be difficult but does have to include a readiness to think creatively and critically. However, the benefits of a great education can last a lifetime.