Archive for the ‘college financing’ Category

Tips on How to Stretch Your Dollar on Campus

Monday, August 25th, 2014
Saving money at college

Saving money at college

Let’s face it: one of the major struggles of college life is budgeting. For most of us it’s the first time we can live independent of parents scrutinizing our financial choices. It’s the first time we have to rely on ourselves more for being responsible when it comes to spending. I’m not saying you should buy pasta in bulk or get 3 campus jobs. It can help, however, to know how and when costs can be cut to save stressing over the incredibly lonely 5 dollar bill that is all that’s left of your weekly budget on a Tuesday.

Whilst 3 campus jobs is overkill, a singular campus job is a really smart move and provides a regular income around which you can plan going out and having fun that costs money. Colleges often accept students to work in libraries, student-run butteries and house managing student performances. Be sure to apply as soon as you arrive on campus to express interest. If you’re really lucky there may even be a position in the field of work you one day wish to enter, so student job quickly transforms itself into practical professional experience. There may even be some networking opportunities available too.

There is also fun that doesn’t cost money. In fact, free fun for college students is the best kind. Whether you get your kicks out of playing football (see what I did there? No? Never mind…) or Game of Thrones fan fiction, finding ways to unwind with friends that don’t stretch your wallet are invaluable. Look up nearby trails to walk, cycle or hike on, and there are almost certainly student groups that perform free of charge. Between Improv, A Capella, dance troupes, sports events and a trillion other organizations, it’s basically impossible not to find something you’re really interested in.

Your college may even have subsidized tickets for various events in the local community. Colleges close to New York may have raffles for Broadway shows, for example. Look out for these because they could save you a lot of money. In addition to tickets, there may be ski trips, hiking retreats and such all year round.

In times of great desperation – for example if you’re laptop breaks the day before finals – check with your financial aid office to see if there are any loans available. I would suggest a loan only if it is absolutely necessary because, of course, they have to be paid back. Schools are usually quite lenient on when the loan must be paid though, so if you do find yourself needing some extra funds there’s no pressure to start a full time job while you’re studying.

The student life does come with a few obstacles, money oftentimes being one of them. But managing your finances is a useful skill that will definitely be needed post-graduation. Take advantage of anything your college has on offer and you’ll steer clear of the red. Or is it black? Maybe just avoid both.

Earning your interest: Tips for Saving Money at College

Thursday, October 17th, 2013
Saving money at college

Saving money at college

Higher education lulls most students into a comfortable vortex of learning.  But that comfort does not typically work will with other aspects of your life.  Especially if you are a student on a budget.  Money stresses can quickly get the best of even the most focused student.  Financial needs hide around nearly every corner on campus.  If you stop to listen to it, you can hear the money being spent in every single collegiate activity that you partake in, from educational to social and everything in between.  You are hereby challenged to espouse an elective as you enroll yourself in “Cents and Sensibility 101”.  The bell has rung… (more…)

How to Pay for College

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

What are options for me to pay for College? How can I help myself?

Cost of college

Cost of college

One of the most daunting aspects of a college education facing students and parents in today’s economic climate is the cost.  College is expensive any way you slice it, and with unemployment being what it is, it feels like a large waste of money.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Unemployment rates for people with college degrees are half what they are for students who did not complete high school. A college education is still an essential key to success and opportunity.

Your ability to pay for college starts in high school.  If you commit to studying hard and getting grades you will drastically improve you chances of paying for college. Many financial aid offices award scholarships and aid to students in need based on their merit and achievement in high school.  A stellar transcript makes you an attractive candidate to any college and they will do what they can to allow you to attend.  Getting the grades you need in high school may mean sacrificing a few Friday nights out with friends to stay in and study, but in the long term you will be richly rewarded.

Another option you have to pay for college is student loans.  While many people balk at he predicament of taking on debt at a young age, this shouldn’t deter you from taking out a student loanYour college education is an investment in your future. Congress also just voted on keeping the interest rates on college loans at their present lower rates. This is a huge victory for education and statement about the value of a college education.

The U.S. education system is also specifically attuned to keep our country competitive in specialized fields in the years ahead. Specifically, colleges and universities want to ensure that the U.S. is still training many of its students for careers in Math and Science and so if these are fields that especially interest you, an even stronger chance of finding financial aid could be possible.

However, whatever course of study interests you and ends up directing your college search, one of the most vital things you can do to help yourself is start early.  Start looking around for the colleges that offer you the best of what you are looking to study, and then begin to understand the ways you can find help to subsidize that education.  Often time, the issue of paying for college can feel so large because it seems so abstract.  Make the problem smaller – find the school you want to attend and then figure out how people have paid to go their in the past.

Lastly, one of the great strengths of the system of higher education in the U.S. is the sheer number of quality universities that exist in this country.  There are many colleges, with many different financial aid options, that will provide you with a top-flight education.  Don’t get locked into any single idea, as there are wonderful options.  In addition to the incredible network of local and state schools, there are many small colleges that you may of never heard of, that will be perfect for you and able to give you the financial help you need to attend.