Paying for college with no money, whether you’re graduating from high school, or returning after spending years in the workforce can be difficult for many people, and the fees don’t stop with tuition. But enrolling in college will help you increase your earning power and develop skills you need to move forward in your career. While paying for college without money in the bank can be tough, there are some ways you can find the money you need to pay for college depending on your personal situation.
Consider taking out a loan for college. The type of loan you can get depends on the college, according to FinAid. The most common types of loans are Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL, FFELP) loans and direct loans, part of the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Talk with your high school counselor or the financial aid department at the college you want to attend for more information about which loan program is best for you.
Use FastWeb to help you find scholarships that you may be eligible for through various programs and colleges. FastWeb also offers information about scholarship application deadlines, tips on applying for scholarships. Your college adviser can also help you locate potential scholarship opportunities.
Talk with someone in your community college’s financial aid department about fee waivers. Many community residents that can’t afford to attend college can take classes for free or for greatly reduced per-unit fees. Fee waivers are available to applicable new students and returning students.
Ask your employer to help you pay for college if you’re working to develop skills that can help you move forward in your career. Many employers already have plans that will pay for all or a portion of training or certification programs related to their industry.
Arrange a payment plan with your college. Many colleges allow students to pay for tuition on a monthly basis instead of paying for the whole semester or quarter up-front, which many students simply can’t do. You’ll still have to pay the full amount unless your tuition is partially covered by a scholarship, but flexible payment terms can make attending college possible.
Use the library to access expensive educational materials like textbooks and required reading materials. Most colleges keep multiple copies of up-to-date textbooks for their most popular courses. Students usually aren’t allowed to check out textbooks, so you’ll have to do your reading and studying in the library, but this has its upside as well: it means you’ll be able to get the book in your hands on a regular basis.
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