In today’s expensive and complicated world, you might be looking for ways to afford college on your own. Well, read on, because it’s possible!
According to a 2021 Ipsos survey, a whopping 85% of American students relied on their parents’ income or savings to afford college. Plus 21% of parents had to take out a personal loan to repay college expenses.
But what if you don’t want the burden of paying for college to fall on your family’s finances?
Luckily, as a prospective student, you don’t need to rely on your parents’ contributions to finance your education.
I’m here to help you to afford college on your own with some helpful insights and tips.
Plus I founded a therapist recommended online course called The Anxiety Cure.
I love helping people to live their happiest lives and manage stressful situations – like affording college.
So that’s why I put together this article all about how you can afford college without your parents helping you.
Here are just a few strategies to consider to afford college on your own.
The first port of call for all students looking for financial help is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The application form is designed to understand what percentage of college expenses you and your family are able to afford. Plus it will help you understand how much financial help you need.
Unfortunately, nearly 45% of families don’t apply for FAFSA help due to the perception that they wouldn’t qualify. Meanwhle, there are no income requirements that need to be met to access this need-based financial help program.
What’s more, while the amount you can borrow through FAFSA is capped at $5,500-$12,500 for undergraduates, the program can give you access to suitable grants and scholarships worth applying for.
With the average ROI of a bachelor’s degree standing at around $306,000, it is easy to see why going to college can be one of the best investments you’ll make in your life. But it is also likely to be one of the major ones.
If you or your family are not in the position to afford the growing expenses of college education, you can still access the benefits of getting a degree. How? By taking out a private student loan from a specialized lender.
For example, private student loans from SoFI come with a 6-month grace period, no hidden fees, and 0.25% rate discounts. They also offer interest rates that are, in some cases, lower than the ones offered by federal student loans.
Today, student income and savings only cover around 8% of college expenses. However, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of bulking out your savings before and during school.
Finding a part-time job, keeping your current position, or looking for a side hustle can help you close the financial gap left by other forms of financial help, such as federal and private student loans.
Opting for an online college can be a great alternative to pursue your education while keeping costs low.
Most students often restrict their search to in-state institutions to save on expenses, but the right online college can give you access to world-class education without having to leave your home or your current job.
What’s more, for a 4-year college degree, online courses result on average $10,776 cheaper than traditional options – and, most employers today see online degrees as just as favorable as in-person qualifications!
Nearly 60% of US employers offer undergraduate or graduate school tuition assistance, while over 34% offer other types of financial help like 529 plan payroll deduction, student loan repayment assistance, and scholarships. And yet, today, only 10% of eligible employees leverage this option.
However, if you have already found the best workplace for your career goals and you are looking to advance within the same field, you should find out more about the financial help programs supplied by your organization.
After all, the great majority of the world’s workforce will need reskilling over the next five years – working towards a more complete skill set now can give you a unique competitive advantage!
Lastly, don’t forget that the rules of smart personal finance apply even when you are a college student! For example, you can lower your living expenses by avoiding contractual obligations (i.e.: memberships and subscriptions), learning how to optimize your credit card usage, and using your student ID to obtain discounts.
Additionally, establishing a budgeting plan like the 50\20\30 rule can help you continue saving and building up your finances even during your college years.
Join my therapist recommended online course: The Anxiety Cure.