Financing a college education might seem difficult, but keep in mind that there is money out there up for grabs. The question is whether you are willing to work to find it.
The first resource that you have, and probably the best one, is www.fastweb.com. This website is probably the most useful way to help find scholarships, internships, and employment. Of course, that means that you will have to work to get the money, but if you try to apply to as many scholarships (or write as many essays) as possible, then you will have a greater chance of winning at least one of them. The website is also free for you to access (there is no registration fee) and it always keeps you up-to-date on recent employment openings in your area, internships around the country, and national scholarship contests that are running.
One of the best ways to finance your college tuition is to apply for the FAFSA. Now, financial aid packages are made up of a wide array of things, and the FAFSA is just one of them. But the FAFSA is great because if you still need some more money to pay for tuition (and chances are, you do!) then you can apply to receive federal loans. Now, the words “federal” and “loan” may sound bitter in your mouth, but they’re actually the best loans that you can get. They have a nice grace period (about six to nine months, I believe, after graduation) and the interest rates are quite low. However, you will either get subsidized or unsubsidized, and the terms for each will vary. But, applying to the FAFSA is a good idea all the same.
The next great resource you will have is your college’s financial aid. Are they going to give you any grants or scholarships? Grants, I find, are the best things out there (next to scholarships, of course, but you don’t have to work as hard for grants). Half of my tuition is paid by a grant from the University of Chicago, and all I had to do was turn in their financial aid application forms. Make sure that you turn those in right away, and see whether their aid package will be good enough.
What’s the last best way to finance your college tuition? Getting a job, of course! Try to get summer jobs, especially one before freshman year when you really have nothing to do. The extra money will help you immensely when it comes to purchasing over-priced textbooks. Of course, you can always work during the school year, but remember that you will have less time to focus on your academics.
With these tips in mind, finding ways to finance your college education should not be too difficult. The key is to keep looking and keep trying!