Many people already know some of these things, but I thought I would share a little about how to continue one’s education with no money or on a very tight budget. I have met so many young people that want to continue their education, but are not able to because of finances. I have also met many parents with ‘troubled teens’ that I have passed this knowledge onto and now their kids are continuing their education….
When deciding on a college, it is important to pick a school that specializes or has a ‘great program’ for whatever you want to study. You can do this by looking up the top 50 colleges in the nation for your field of study. After narrowing that down, it is important to see if they allow any classes to be ‘clept’ out of. (I am not sure of the spelling of this word). For example, if you took four years of Spanish in high school, you can ‘clept’ out of any classes required by a community college or a University in some cases. The third thing and most important in my opinion, is what kind of financial aid package do they offer? Some schools have great financial aid packages. Others do not. These ‘funds’ are mostly made up of alums and private donors. For example, (this is entirely hypothetical, but it applies)….if one wants to study chemical engineering, and they find a school that has a good program for this degree, it is highly possible that companies donate funds to that particular school for students to be able to become chemical engineers….the goal of the corporate donations are of course that once one graduates, the student will come to work for them. The corporation sponsoring donations are always on campuses by the way –giving out information to potential future workers….
If one finds a school that is top notch, but doesn’t offer a good financial aid package, nor scholarships, then go to the next one and keep looking until you find a school that does. Millions of colleges throughout the U.S. have ‘slush funds’, ‘alum funds used for scholarships’ as well as financial aid packages.
Sports scholarships and merit scholarships (good grades, high S.A.T. scores) are also available at colleges but the merit scholarships are diminishing unless in specific fields of study.
Here’s where the snags come in: If the student is living at home, for example, fresh out of high school, even if the college offers an aid package, the Parents Income is taken into consideration. So if Mom and Dad make Good Money, aid may not be available. If that is the case, what to do? Student loans. There are several kinds. One kind is when Mom and Dad may not want to sign for the loan, guaranteeing that the loan will be paid back. Another kind is when the loan accrues interest while the student is going to school. You Don’t Want This kind of loan. Another kind is when the interest does not start accruing until the student graduates, usually within six months of graduation. The good thing is that the student can always call and change the amount due monthly if their income changes. Loan Forgiveness: Given to those in certain fields such as teaching. Once graduated, the student pays back the loan with about 10% of their income once they secure a job. That amount can also be adjusted. In Ten Years, provided the student stays in the same field, the balance of the loan is forgiven. —————
If none of the above options do not work, the best thing for the young student to hope for is that if Mom and Dad make great money, they will have a college fund, or be willing to help the student, but even if they are Not, loans are always available, just be careful on the Type of Loan you receive. If the student is going through this process without a Parent to help figure out the best kind of loan to apply for, see a counselor or better yet just go to the bank and speak to one of associates there. They will explain it to the student.
Another option: Community College first. All community colleges offer financial aid. Again, it is based on the Parent’s Income. However, if the student is living on their own, they will most likely qualify for Financial Aid unless they are making Great Money. What is financial aid in Community College and why attend instead of University? Financial aid is available to those who want to work toward furthering their education. There are certain income guidelines. It is very easy to apply. Many times tuition and books do not cost One Penny. Logon to the FASFA site. Follow the instructions. If I can do it, anyone can, especially the young computer wizards out there!!
What to do from there? If obtaining financial aid at the community college level, one must keep a C average. If planning on continuing one’s education at University, Keep your Grade Point Average High. Study Hard!! You will be a more viable candidate for University if you do this. The great thing about community college is that one can now go into nursing, dental hygiene and many other fields and obtain a degree or certificate and Get Working!! Another important point: if planning to go to University, take your S.A.T. test. Even if you took it in high school and did not score high enough to be a viable candidate for University, take it again!! Some Universities do not require S.A.T. tests, but many do.
If one wants to continue by going to University, a University will more likely offer a scholarship or financial aid if you are only attending Two Years instead of Four because you obtained your, ‘core subjects’ in community college (and and an Associates Degree) and ready to focus on your chosen field of study!!
Whether obtaining an Associate’s Degree or going on to University, once Any Job is secured, ask about Continuing Education. Many Employers offer Tuition Assistance as well as Tuition Reimbursement for furthering education as long as the degree is applicable to their company.
** Final Note: In almost every community college and University, there will be an office called something like Student Success. It’s where you go to take your admission test if required. There is a Huge Book filled with Hundreds of Scholarships. Take the time to go through the book and write the essays for the scholarships. You have Nothing to Lose by applying for these scholarships and they may not be for much money …..a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars but They Make A Difference — for dorms, tuition, books, and personal expenses. Apply for All of Them!! Just set your mind to it and take a few days and Apply for Every Scholarship out there. If your community college nor University of choice does not have ‘The Book’ on display — Ask Where the book is that offers scholarships. Believe me, it’s there somewhere on campus.
With very little effort, one can go to college. You may have to jump few a hoops, spend about twenty minutes applying for financial aid, maybe spend a few days applying for scholarships, but once you are attending, you will be So Glad You Did.
The above recommendations are true. I have done these things for the last 8 years. This is the Only Way that I was able to home school and then guide three out of four children toward higher education. One has a Masters’, one a Bachelors’ and one is still working on an Associates’….
For the student (young or older) that Hates School: Why should I get an Associate’s Degree? Because later in life you may want to continue your education and you will have already taken your ‘core classes’ and some humanities….
Don’t forget to clept out whatever classes you can!! This is important at the Community College level as well as the University level. Why? You don’t have to pay for the classes required, they are counted as credits toward your degree of choice and gives you freedom to take other classes you may like, or just give you more free time. Ask what classes are available to clept out of!! Many community colleges nor universities do not tell you this. Why? Because they Want you to take the classes to make money!!
Final Point: Never Give Up on your Education!! There is a Way to Obtain it!!