Paying for Your College Education

by A Guest Author

Everyone agrees that a college education will reap benefits for a lifetime. The real problem arises when finding the money to pay for it. The annual cost of a 4-year college can range anywhere from $15,000 at a public institution to $30,000 and upward at a private school. Here are some of the ways a student can find the funding to pay for a college degree:


One of the best features of a scholarship is that it does not need to be repaid. Do you think that only athletes and straight-A students are eligible for scholarships? That is not true. Scholarships are available for everything from being short (or tall) to wearing an outfit made of duct tape to the prom. There is even a website dedicated to unusual scholarships.  A little research can find a scholarship that will fit you; however, avoid sites that charge to find a scholarship for you.


Like scholarships, grants do not have to be repaid. You can use a grant in the same way as a student loan, for books, housing and other related costs, in addition to tuition. There are federal, state and private grants available to eligible students. The financial aid department at your college will be your best source of information about specific grant programs.

Work-study programs 

The federal government offers a work-study program that provides part-time jobs, at minimum wage or higher, to students who can prove financial need. The program encourages students to choose community service work or work related to the student's field of study. Approximately 3,400 institutions across the United States participate in this program. To receive these funds, you must apply through your school and follow their procedures. As each school has a limited amount of funds to distribute, early application is important.

Student Loans 

In shopping for a student loan, federal loans should be your first option. Do not assume that you must have a financial need to qualify. Federal loans are available to all income groups. They are generally less expensive and have more flexible repayment options than private loans. The application process is not as complicated as you may think.

Private lenders are not required to use the same criteria for student loans. They may take income and other financial factors into consideration. The maximum amount which can be borrowed is higher than federal student loans, but the costs are also higher. These loans should only be used as a last resort.

Other options 

Even if you have waited until the last moment to apply, it still may be possible to get financial aid. Each year, many funding sources go unused, simply because no one applies. Use your internet browsing skills to search for these hidden sources. Your high school counselor and your community's service organizations, such as Lions Club or Rotary Club, may know of some last-minute sources of funding.

If you are internet-savvy, and are good with words, you could appeal for funding online. There are websites dedicated to helping people find money for college, such as “greennote,” or “sponsormydegree.”  You can also build your own site and supplement it with postings to Facebook and Twitter.

Your college's financial aid office is your best source of information regarding all types of funding. They can help you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and evaluate your options. Many times, they can assist you in finding little known forms of aid or in combining several different forms of aid to meet your college funding needs.

About The Author

John Alexander understands that that saving money can be challenging which is why he writes on behalf of a site that helps you find the best money market rates.

This post was written by A Guest Author

This post was written by a guest author. If you have high quality, useful information to share with students, send us an email or click Write For Us to learn more. And in case you're wondering - yes, you can promote yourself in this fancy author byline.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: