Summer is here and with it comes the countdown to the start of college. Whether you’re paying your own way or paying for someone else, here are some ideas of how to minimize the burden on your checkbook.
- Never Give Up on Scholarships – They all don’t require stellar grade points, a 2.5 GPA can be enough. Scour the web, but never pay sites that charge a fee to look for scholarships.
- Accelerate – Some colleges have accelerated degree programs so you graduate faster. It is hard work but worth it if you can shave off a year’s expenses.
- Transfer – Get your basics at a community college then transfer to your dream school. It’s their diploma that you’ll hang on your wall.
- Opt for the red carpet – For a better financial package, focus on the colleges that really want you. Find the ones where your SAT scores exceed their averages. Also check out the smaller schools in your area.
- Go tuition-free – Some may require 10 to 15 hours/week of work. Check out The Cooper Union (NY); Webb Institute, (NY); Berea College (KY), College of the Ozarks (MO) and Alice Lloyd College (KY).
- Get a loan – Federal student loans are best because the government sets the maximum rate of interest and any qualified federal loan lender is able to charge less. (Yes, we’re a qualified lender, so come talk to us about a lower rate.)
- Lock in tuition – Select a school that locks in your first-year rate. Some to consider: Anna Maria College (MA); Baylor University (TX); Centenary College (LA); Concordia University (IL); Hardin-Simmons University (TX); Huntington College (IN); Urbana University (OH);University of Charleston (WV); and Pace University (NY).
- Work off debt with community service – Recent grads can cancel part or all of their federal debt by working in public-service jobs. Consider inner-city teaching, Peace Corps, or low-income medical clinics.