If you plan on attending college, or plan on sending your children to college, you’ll need a financial plan to help get there, and to reach graduation. Today, average state resident tuition runs around $9,139 per year. To attend an out of state school, the average jumps up to $22,958. These costs don’t inlcude room and board. Like most people, you’re asking yourself how you can afford this without aquiring student loans. It’s a difficult goal to reach, but it can be done for many people. Here’s some suggestions:
1. Start Saving Early! If you’re a teenager and have a job, start saving half your earnings now. If you’re a parent, start saving when your children are born. As you receive pay increases throughout the years, take your increase and put it away before you have a chance to spend it. This simple saving technique can work for a variety of things, not just saving for college.
2. Scholarships! Unlike loans, scholarships do not need to be repaid. There are many different kinds of scholarships, some being larger than others. Start looking into these early. Even if you need to get as small student loan, scholarships can help cut down the overall cost of education.
3. Grants! These work like scholarships. And there may be many you qualify for without knowing it. A financial aid advisor can help you research which grants might apply to you.
4. Don’t Be In Such a Hurry! Many people spread a four year study into six or seven years. This will allow you to work at least part time while attending school, helping you to pay tuition and fees along the way, effectively eliminating large student loan debt.
5. Community College! Chances are there’s a community college in your area. Look into acquiring an associates degree prior to attending a four year school for your last two years. The average annual cost of a two year school is just over $2,600. And because it’s at a nearby location, you’ll also save on travel expenses. You can also work and save additional money.
If you’re preparing to go to college, or you’re preparing to send your children to college, give SoureONE a call. We’ve got some great loan products to help with college related expenses. Need a laptop, we can help! Need a car for travel, we offer some of the best rates available. Need general supplies, we’ve got you covered!