Got a dream career? Perhaps an ideal salary or exact figure even? Maybe you just want a more ideal lifestyle? Just picture it, doing a job you love, coming back each night to your big house, lovely family, and having all the money you could ever want.
However achieving it isn’t always easy and when you think of potential barriers, two things likely spring to mind. The 4 years of hard work required to get your degree and how on earth will I pay for college. Did you know according to Education Data, the average student loan repayment is $460 per month?
If your first-choice college comes with extremely high fees and seems impossibly unaffordable, don’t stress, there are many ways you can independently finance your college education. While there is an abundance of help and aid available, in this post, we are focusing on what you can do independently to pay for college.
1. Carefully Choose Where To Study
Choosing your college goes a lot further than avoiding the most expensive colleges and finding your ideal degree. If you want to finance your college experience independently you need to get specific.
For example, think about the cost of living in the area, including everything from accommodation rates, the price of groceries, and the cost of driving or using public transport. These costs differ drastically depending on where you attend college, so before you do anything pick a college in an area with a cost of living, you can actually afford.
2. Work, Work, Work
We know you don’t want to hear this, but if you truly want to finance college independently, you’re going to have to work. I know, it sucks right? But working alongside your studies is one of the best ways to make college affordable.
It can be very difficult to work at a bar after studying all day or having to wait tables while you’re friends are out partying. But any costs you can cover now are less you’ll have to pay back in the future. You can work full-time or ideally part-time, whenever you’re not studying. Anything you can do to bring cash flow means you’re not entirely reliant on loans or external financial aid.
3. Save In Summer
When at college and before you start, you’ll have generous summer breaks, with months of spare time, which if you use wisely, can be spent earning as much money as possible. This work and save approach can fast-track what would normally take months to earn.
By heading to popular holiday destinations, for example, you can really dial down and work almost every day if you want to, earning lots in a short time, you can then use this to live off while you’re studying.
4. Online Side Hustle
With the move to an online way of work (and study for that matter) becoming increasingly common post-2020, there are many jobs you can do online. Some of these jobs don’t require any experience and there are some you can start right away.
For example, teaching English online is a fantastic side hustle you can use to cover extra costs. Or if you’re good at writing, why not become a copywriter in your spare time? Both jobs can be done during spare time in the evenings or mornings before you start studying.
While you won’t be making a killing with these online side hustles, they will massively help cover groceries and any extra activities you want to do.
5. FAFSA – A Little Help
Although we’re focused on independently financing your college fees, whatever you do, don’t be afraid to get a little help. Don’t get hung up on trying to pay for it all yourself, it’s ok to get a little help if you need it. Especially if you’ve tried all of the above tips, but still have tuition costs to worry about.
Before you start studying and working, apply for a FASA – this is the student financial aid available in the US and could be available for you. Whether you think you’re likely to qualify for it or not, it’s free to apply so you never know – Maybe you’ll get a grant or a form of aid that could make a huge difference in reducing what you have to pay for.
These FASA grants are from the college/state government and work on a first-come-first-served basis, so get your application in early.
So now you know that yes, it is entirely possible to finance your college fees independently, it won’t be easy and it’ll take a lot of work – But you CAN do it. To summarize, here are the main ways you can cover your college costs:
- Carefully choose where to study
- Work alongside study
- Work all summer, study all winter
- Get an online side hustle
- Ask for help
We hope these tips have helped you and have given you the confidence to go and get the dream life you want.
If you need any help regarding student loan refinancing, medical student loan refinancing, or personal loans, please contact us here at Splash Financial.