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10 Ways To Pay Less For College

10 ways to pay less for college

It’s no surprise that college is expensive, but you can be savvy about tuition costs and SAVE money. You may be thinking “this is impossible”; however, by following these tips you may find yourself in a better financial situation when it comes to paying for your education!

How can you pay less for college?

Research Financial Aid Options ASAP

By planning ahead and beginning to research financial aid options as soon as possible, you are more likely to do well in the aid process over those who miss deadlines and procrastinate. Additionally, competition for financial aid increases when the economy is weak (Princeton Review), so get ahead of the competition by starting early!


Apply for Scholarships and Grants

Seek out money that you don’t have to pay back. Scholarships are offered by schools, states, and private institutions. Grants may also be offered based on your career, program, state-based grants, and school offerings. Therefore, it is important to research and discover which scholarships and grants you are eligible for.

If you’re worried about applying to scholarships correctly, College Life Today created a College Scholarship Application Checklist. CLT also offers 4 different scholarships that you might quailfiy. Check them out here!

Looking for the Scholarship Checklist? Signup below!

Apply for Financial Aid (even if it seems unnecessary)

Finances can take a turn for the worst. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where you require financial aid — due to some unforeseen circumstance — only to realize that you have missed the deadline. Apply for those priority deadlines, even if you think you don’t qualify. 

For more information on financial aid, read Financial Aid 101: What is Financial Aid and How Does it Work?


Pursue Federal Loans First

If you have to borrow money for college, pursue federal student loans before private loans. Federal student loans offer protection for the borrower and the lender, along with potentially lower interest rates. Additionally, you may be eligible for student loan forgiveness, which is not available to private loan borrowers. In order to apply for federal student loans, you must fill out the FAFSA form. 


Don’t Rule Out “Expensive Schools”

Seemingly expensive colleges have increased their aid budgets in order to attract applicants who are more price-resistant. Of course, you should have a financial aid back-up plan in place. For example, applying to a school in your home state so you can live at home will save money on room and board. 

Apply to colleges strategically. Remember, you are likely to receive a better aid package if you exceed the school’s admission criteria. Make your application even more competitive by earning high SAT and ACT scores.


AP Courses

Take all of the AP courses you can and prepare for those exams! High scores on AP exams can land you course credits, which can ultimately reduce the amount you need to pay for college.


Prepare for Claimable Tax Benefits

You can reduce taxes up to $2,500 a year per child (IRS)! 


Be Realistic About Debt

Research starting salary information from graduates at your chosen school. This will offer insight into how much money you will make on your planned career path when you have to begin repaying student loans.


Do NOT Put Tuition on a Credit Card

Between interest rates and other fees, credit card debt is incredibly expensive. You may need a credit card for an unexpected emergency, so you’ll want to avoid maxing out on that borrowing limit (Princeton Review).


Request Additional Aid, if Needed

If your circumstances change, some colleges may be inclined to help. However, the college will require supporting documentation well beforehand. 


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10 ways to pay less for college

10 ways to pay less for college
10 ways to pay less for college
10 ways to pay less for college

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Zoe Jones

Zoe Jones

Zoe Jones is a charismatic, happy go lucky writer for College Life Today. She marches to the beat of her own drum. She’s a freelance graphic designer and cartoonist, running her business successfully in the New York Metro Area. She spends most of her time in coffee shops making new friends every day.