College funding: Study to Know, Save to Have

Please enjoy this guest post from Sonya Watts.

Education is one of those life endeavors that require a whole lot of determination and planning over the long haul. A college education does not provide instant gratification, but enable you to reap various benefits in the future. Furthermore, college tuition can cost an arm and a leg, making a great impact on most personal budgets. There are also many expenses associated with the college life that only add a fuel to the fire. Now, as much as this financial side of education can seem intimidating or unjustified, that is not the reason to throw in the towel.

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Know the Score 

There are several ways in which financial aid is offered to students. They involve loans, scholarships, grants and work-study. The number of those who opt for student loans is increasing rapidly, but this has its disadvantages behind the face value. Namely, many learners are under pressure to find a part-time job or another source of income, which can impede their ability to put up the maximum effort on exams. Therefore, know what you are getting yourself into before accepting the benefits of a financial aid.

Even better, do not wait to have your back pressed against the wall to realize that there was a better option all along: Committing to saving money early on. All experts will tell you the same: Set aside a fixed amount of green each month and let it add up. Hence, parents and their children should first agree on this mission ahead of time. Some lifestyle adjustments are likely to occur, which often reflects more on the children. If that is still not enough, go for a smaller loan to tackle the problem.

A Dollar Saved is a Dollar Earned 

Just do think of money saving as a sacrifice, but an investment that could take the quality of your, or life of your children to the next level. People who pursue higher education have more chances of climbing up the career ladder, leading a fulfilled lifestyle, and reaching their goals. This seems like a cause worth all the blood, sweat, and tears, does it not? This notion helps people make a positive change in life and learn crucial lessons. Some of them are the value of planning, thinking long-term and taking action promptly.

This is also to say that there are many stepping-stones on the road of education. One of them is certainly high school. Before you can submit for a college scholarship, you need to go through this stage of the education with flying colors. Both the amount of saved money and the attained grades will have a great impact on your further adventures. One other thing that propels you forward is solid preparation for the entrance exams. Yet, this privilege can be costly.

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The good news is that there are payment methods that have changed the educational game in this area, making it more accessible to those with humble earnings. What is more, they include innovative features like sharing the financial burden between multiple payers. One that worked for me is school easy pay system, but you should always try to find the ones in your region. Taking advantage of these possibilities means that one can finish a quality high school, acquire the best possible knowledge, and even arrive at the gates of higher education with considerable money in the pocket.

Right as Rain

If you are seeking financial aid, make sure you have taken all measures to get it. Moreover, research all the pros and cons of funding in this fashion, and always seeks for alternatives. Remember that the best thing to do is to create a saving fund. Start sooner rather than later, and you will not have to worry about financial issues. The students can focus on the obligations ahead, and their parents on supporting the children in other ways. Save money for the rainy day, and you will not mind the rain drops falling on your head.

Do you think its possible to obtain a  college education without debt? What tips would you recommended for accomplishing a debt free education?

9 thoughts on “College funding: Study to Know, Save to Have”

  1. I completely think it is possible to obtain an education without debt. However, with how easy it is to get student loans, people don’t put in the effort to save before college.

    I paid for school by myself in loans. I saved nothing before it but I worked part-time and paid as much as I could each semester in cash so I wouldn’t need to take out the full loan amount. My wife and I are currently saving for college for our daughter but I have no intentions to fully fund the account. I believe that I took my education more seriously because I had skin in the game with my loans and I want the same experience for my daughter.

  2. While I didn’t serve in the military, I’m surprised that more financial bloggers don’t bring up a tour of service and the GI Bill as a strong alternative to taking out loans. I know the military is not for everyone, and there are risks involved. If my child chose that alternative, I would be concerned for her. But I think for students whose parents didn’t save or cannot contribute significant funds, it’s an option that shouldn’t be ignored.

  3. I think its good to save as much as you can in retirement first, then the next goal should be kids college education if debt free. If you can save something, and cash flow the rest because you are debt free, it will def. help the kids avoid loans.

    1. We will have a mix of three, saving, cash flow and our children working during college. No amount of money is too small to help pay off tuition.

  4. I think it’s possible to obtain a 4 year degree without debt if you’re willing to go about it with forethought and in the cheapest route possible. At least, I think it’s possible if a student has the community college option or the option to stay at home.

    That said, I worry that many parents and students are overwhelmed by the cost at the start of college, so they resort to loans too early in the process. Some schools are becoming very creative in how they help people finance education without loans. For example, both of my brothers (attending state schools) have the option to pay for 60% of the semester up front, and have until the end of the semester to pay for the remainder. Since their schools are among the lowest cost in Minnesota/Wisconsin, I know that many students take advantage of that by only taking out a loan for 60% of their second semseter (earning enough over summers to pay for the first semester, and enough during school to cover the remaining 40%).

    1. That’s a great point Hannah, in addition it makes a huge difference whether or not you have residence in that state, that alone can save a huge chunk of the semester tuition. With the added benefit of being able to stay at one an extra semester if able.

    2. I’m right there with you Hannah. It really starts with the research the high school student does. The parents and guidance counselor all need to be involved to help them along and make a better decision from the start.

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