Finding Money to Pay for College
Most parents want to help their students pay for college. Use these smart tips to find the funds you need for higher education!
College is increasingly so expensive that parents and their students are desperate to find ways to help pay for it. I helped my son win over $100,000 in college scholarships and want to help you too. How did I do it? Read my story here.
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In a perfect world, parents would have started saving for their children’s college education as soon as each of their children were born.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and while most parents wish they would have started saving as soon as they began having children, the majority (myself included) did not.
Life gets it the way and before you know it, that adorable infant is now a high school senior researching colleges and preparing for life after high school. Parents, don’t panic. Financial help for college is available and the best thing you can do is exhaust all possibilities in finding ways to help finance your student’s education.
College Parenting Expert, Wendy David-Gaines, has detailed many different and innovative ways to find money for college in her latest article. Read through Wendy’s suggestions carefully and consider how each one may work for your own family and financial situation.
A fear of adding to the growing $1 trillion dollar student loan debt is great motivation for parents to encourage their college-bound teens to get involved in some financial self-help. Since there is no loan for retirement and future lifestyle can be adversely impacted, families are now considering new options to pay for college. Winning scholarships, crowdfunding efforts, and money-saving techniques can add thousands of dollars to traditional financial aid yielded from federal and state applications.
As government budgets have tightened, so has the amount allotted to education. States have slashed funding to their public universities. Both federal and state aid hasn’t increased proportionally with rising college costs. Since families are expected to contribute to college costs, many find they have to allocate a higher percentage of their income and savings than anticipated whether or not this is feasible or advisable.
Interest in applying for scholarships sponsored by business, employers, high schools, individuals, fraternal associations, religious organizations and other groups has grown. Students can increase their chances of winning by searching for both national and local scholarship opportunities and scheduling a weekly time to apply. Following the application rules and meeting deadlines are essential but there are shortcuts. Essays, when required, can be tweaked for reuse and so can scholarship résumés. Parents can help with searching, proofreading, sending and generally organizing the process.
Be sure to read: Teamwork Makes the Scholarship Dream Work!
Colleges wanting to fill their classrooms with students having better qualifications or a greater ability to pay than the rest of the applicant pool may be offered institutional grants to encourage them to attend. The burden is on students to find schools that really want them and are not connecting just to get them to apply thereby increasing application numbers and ranking. A good college list has never been more important.
Use these creative ways to help pay for college!
Crowdfunding is the latest new tool to help pay for college. Students can “raise money from friends, family, and other interested donors…create profiles, announce a fundraising goal, and generally explain why they are deserving of outside help for tuition,” according to ChigagoInno, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, Upstart, and ScholarFlip are some of the many platforms students can check out. Parents with 529 college savings accounts can solicit donations from GiveCollege.com, for example.
Families may search for extra cash at home. Sometimes treasures are found hiding in plain sight in attics, basements, closets and living room shelves. They can be sold at garage sales or online stores.
Parents and students can work together as a team to engage in conscious spending. First, differentiate between wants and needs. Then calculate the necessary expenses, find areas to belt-tighten, and save for higher education.
Students can use their smarts and talents to enhance their qualifications and earn extra money from part time and summer jobs. Got A’s in math? Become a tutor. Love animals? Be a pet sitter. Play piano? Give lessons. Computer genius? Complete online surveys. Enjoy crafting? Sell wares. Fix, install or teach. Emphasizing a creative use of abilities shows leadership, maturity and entrepreneurial skills.
There is one caveat. Be careful where to put these extra college dollars. Money in the student’s name counts more heavily than parent funds under financial aid formulas. Get all the important college financial aid information by using this resource.