I grew up in a family with nine children. Everyone older than me who wanted to went to college with full financial aid. My mother even got a second degree while my two older sisters were getting theirs free of charge. I always assumed I would get the same deal. When it was my turn, however, there were only 4 children left in the house and due to my mother’s degree, she added quite a bit to my father’s income. I did not qualify for financial aid, and with three children still home, my parents did not have enough money to pay for my education. I did however, make it through college.
Here are some things I wish I had known about paying for college without financial aid:
1. If you join a branch of the Armed Forces, your college will then be paid for. ” The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs administers a number of education benefit programs under the GI Bill. You will find this information at their “GI Bill” website (http://www.gibill.va.gov). Also included on this page are links to documents and forms, which will help veterans, dependents, and school officials with the application process.”
2. You can get a job on campus, which will make working your way through college easier. The federal work-study program provides this opportunity.
3. Apply for every student grant you can get your hands on Use government websites like grants.gov to find grant opportunities. Check with your high school guidance counselors as well.
4. Start an online business. College Student Alex Tex was on his way to his first million at age 21, selling internet real estate one pixel at a time. If you cannot come up with a good original idea that will pay for college while making you a fortune, you may be able to make enough money to cover your room and board on Associated Content or a similar website. Blog about college, sell ads on yours site, give tutor fellow students online. Just be creative.
5. Consider a tuition free college. Some of these are Tuition-free colleges include The Cooper Union in New York, NY; Webb Institute in Glen Cove, NY; Berea College in Berea, KY; College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, MO; and Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, KY. You will be required to work however.
6. Continue applying for scholarships and grants. High school seniors are not the only people eligible for college scholarships. Apply for them constantly. You will not get the money if you do not ask for it.
7. Guaranteed Student Loans. This is a last resort. Keep in mind however that if you work while in college you may make yourself ineligible for your student loan. I found myself loan-less my last year in college, and had to work even more than usual to finish.