One of the biggest decisions to make when pursuing higher education, is how to finance it. For the 2017-2018 school year, the estimated cost to attend one year at a public university averaged $25,000, while one year at a private university averaged over $50,000.
While student loans are often the quickest option, the long-term effects can be crippling. Many statistics show the total amount of student loan debt in the United States and average amount of debt college students have by the time they graduate ($1.2 trillion and $30,100, respectively).
Here are a few resources to consider before signing on for student loans.
There are local, state, and federal grants available to help offset college costs. Grants are available for nearly every type of student, including veterans, athletes, and musicians. Read about how to get started on grant hunting here.
Other available options are scholarships. Fastweb and Scholarships.com are popular online scholarship search platforms. If you belong to a minority group or plan to pursue a STEM major, there are even more scholarship resources, like this list of 110 scholarships for women of color.
The scholarship application process can be time-consuming, so get an early start and apply for everything you qualify for, no matter how small the amount.
Students who qualify through the FAFSA can take advantage of work study opportunities available at their school. You won’t get rich from work study, but every penny counts. Benefits include flexible hours and experience in a higher education environment to add to your resume.
Get Help from the Pros
The EmpowerU staff can assist you with finding resources to pay for college and offer career advice to help maximize your future earning potential. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you have!
Written by K. Wright, who is a personal finance and lifestyle blogger. She writes about topics including personal development, education, and building generational wealth. See more of her writing on her website or follow her on Instagram.