What can you do when you don’t have enough money to pay for school? The answer is duct tape.
What? Tape has many practical uses, such as strengthening book covers, mending holes in backpacks, removing lint, and catching insects.
But what does duct tape have to do with college pay? Duck Branded Tape is sponsoring a $ 10,000 scholarship to make a prom costume out of tape. Visit the Stuckatprom.com website for more information.
If that particular scholarship isn’t helping you get out of your difficult situation, search for scholarships on free scholarship search websites like Fastweb.com and College Board Big Future. Just watch out for scholarship fraud which involves charging a fee to apply for a scholarship.
Here are ten more ways to pay for school if you don’t have enough financial support.
1. Choose a cheaper college
College costs vary depending on the type of college. Often a state university costs a quarter to a third of the cost of a private university, even with less financial support.
Another option is one of the six dozen colleges with a “no-loan” grant policy. These colleges replace loans with grants in the grant package. These colleges include all of the Ivy League colleges, MIT, Stanford, Caltech, UC Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, Amherst, Williams, Wellesley, Northwestern, University of Chicago, Swarthmore, Rice, UVA, Vanderbilt, Vassar, and other select colleges.
Community colleges are much cheaper. However, if your goal is a bachelor’s degree, going through community college can mean missing out on your goal. Only one-fifth of students starting at community college graduate with a bachelor’s degree within six years, compared with two-thirds of students starting at 4-year college.
Part-time enrollment can lower college costs by spreading it out over a longer period of time. However, students must be enrolled at least half the time to qualify for student loans and postponement. Other forms of financial support can be calculated proportionally depending on your enrollment status.
2. Complete the FAFSA
Yes, I realize that the point of this article is to give ideas on how to pay for school if you don’t have one enough financial help. However, this point is still worth mentioning as some students assume that they are not eligible for financial assistance due to household income or other reasons.
Based on these assumptions, some students fail to submit the free federal student grant application (FAFSA) thinking it would be a waste of time anyway. However, the FAFSA is a gateway to financial aid not only from the federal government, but also from state governments and most colleges and universities.
Less than 200 mostly private universities use an additional form, the CSS profile, to allocate their own funding. But most still use the FAFSA for federal and state aid. Even if you weren’t getting enough state aid to pay for the school in full, FAFSA filing could help you qualify for additional performance grants from your academic institution.
Submit the FAFSA as soon as possible on or after the October 1st start date. Students submitting the FAFSA will be eligible for more scholarships sooner than students who wait to submit the form. Some scholarships are awarded on a first-come-first-served basis until the funds are used up. Other scholarships have early or preferred deadlines.
3. Appeal for more financial help
If you need extra cash to pay for school due to special circumstances, contact the college financial assistance office to learn how to apply for additional financial assistance.
Special circumstances are financial circumstances that affect your solvency for the studies. They include changes in circumstances since the previous year, such as job losses and wage cuts. (The FAFSA is based on two-year income information.)
This also includes circumstances that differentiate the family from a typical family, such as high unpaid medical expenses, K-12 tuition for siblings, care costs for a child with special needs or an older parent, and disability-related expenses.
You can also ask for further financial support in the middle of the school year. At many universities, emergency funds are also available through the financial aid office.
4. Join the military
Student military aid can be an option to pay for school if you plan to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. Examples of the federal government are ROTC scholarships and the GI law. Eligible students can receive a ROTC scholarship for a year before they are required to commit to service.
There are also scholarships for soldiers, veterans, and their families from private organizations such as AMVETS, the American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
5. Get a job
Part-time jobs are available on and near college campuses. Some employers offer student grants and student loan repayment programs. (Up to $ 5,250 of this support per year is tax-free.)
Even if you already have a job, you may still be able to do a second job in the evenings or on weekends. Also, consider asking your employer for a raise or switching to a better paying job.
However, be careful if you work too much during a college education. Students who work full-time are half as likely to get a bachelor’s degree as students who work 12 hours or less per week.
6. Reduce college costs
Aside from choosing a college that charges fewer tuition and fees, students can save on other college costs as well. Around half of the cost of a public higher education education is the cost of living such as room and board, textbooks, transportation, and other personal expenses.
Here are a few tips on how you can cut those costs:
Related: The 50 Best Ways To Save Money In College
7. Sell your stuff
Selling your stuff on Facebook Marketplace, letgo, Offerup or other platforms is a quick way to raise money for school. Start by selling anything you haven’t used in over a year.
Related: 10 Places to Sell Your Used Clothing Online for Cash
8. Ask friends and family for help
It is better to beg than to borrow. Ask your friends and family to help you pay for the school. Ask parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles to give away college on your birthday and holidays. (They can also sell the gifts they give you to raise money to pay college bills.)
It doesn’t hurt to ask for help. The worst that can happen is that they say no. Try asking them to cover something specific, such as textbooks or lessons. Crowdfunding for college could also be an option for students who have compelling histories and are asking for a small amount of money.
9. Get help from the IRS
Get money from the IRS when you file your federal income tax return by claiming certain education tax breaks. American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) offers a partial refundable tax credit of up to $ 2,500 based on amounts paid for tuition and textbooks. It is limited to four years. But then there’s Lifetime Learning Tax Credit (LLTC) worth up to $ 2,000.
The Student Loan Interest Deduction provides a tax deduction for up to $ 2,500 in interest paid on government student loans and most private student loans. It’s an income exclusion mentioned above so you can claim it even if you don’t list it.
Two-thirds of the states offer a state income tax withholding or tax credit based on contributions to the state’s 529 plan. Seven states provide the state income tax break for contributions to a state’s 529 plan. Most states allow the tax break even if you withdraw the money immediately.
In fact, this offers a discount on college expenses based on your marginal tax rate. Four states limit state income tax relief to contributions minus distributions. In this case, you have to make the contributions and make the distributions in different years.
10. Borrow the rest
The least desirable option is to borrow the money, as student loans usually have to be paid back with interest. Before borrowing, ask the professor whether she offers an installment plan for tuition fees. Tuition plans split college bills into equal monthly payments over the academic year. There is no interest on tuition fee installment plans, but a small upfront fee may be charged.
If you need to borrow, federal borrow first. Federal student loans offer low fixed rates, do not require co-signers, and have flexible repayment options. Federal student loans offer extended deferrals and deferrals, income-based repayment plans, and loan remission and discharge options. You must file the FAFSA before you can get a state student or parent loan.
Student private loans and parental private loans are available from many lenders, including banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. Most students need a parent or other relative to help sign the loans. Even if you can qualify without a co-signer, a creditworthy co-signer can help you qualify for a lower interest rate.
Look for the best interest rate as the advertised rate may not match the rate you will get. If you want to compare multiple lenders in minutes, consider using Credible as it makes credit shopping a breeze. Also, if you pre-qualify for a private student loan through Credible, you can receive a $ 20 gift card! Check out Credible here >>>