By now you have received your acceptance letter, filed for your federal student aid, and you are probably still wondering how can you find more funds to pay for all your college expenses. There are a few ways that you can obtain funds to help fund your education and they range from scholarships and grants, private student loans and working a summer job.
First of all, it is very unlikely that you will not need to get a private student loan, unless money has been put aside throughout the years. Private student loans are useful in that it helps supplement funds by paying for the remainder of tuition, room and board cost along with textbooks, supplies and daily needs. However, there are some key issues that the student and parent must keep in mind when using a private student loan. First, even with excellent credit some financial lenders will still give you a high interest rate of around 8 percent. Some lenders will charge an processing fee that is a percentage of the amount that you borrow. These issues need to be kept in mind when shopping around for a private student loan. Also watch out for ads or pre-approval applications that state one interest rate then after the finalization of the loan the interest rate is significantly higher.
The reality is that most of us will have to use a private loan to pay for college expenses and one of the best things to do when doing so is to only borrow what you need. Yes, it may sound great to have extra money to spend but remember that as each month goes by that money is earning interest. That means that if you borrow 15,000 and wait until you graduate to make payments that actual amount owed could be as mush as 20,000, due to interest being added to the balance. If you can pay the interest while in college, so that all you have to pay back is the amount borrowed. Paying 20 to 30 dollars a month is not that much compared to paying the larger amount after four years of interest accumulating.
So maybe you want to find out what your other options are before you apply for a loan, These other options fall in the category of scholarships and grants. There are many search engines out there that will lead you to good scholarship searches and criminal scholarship searches. Remember, that any scholarship or grant company that asks you to pay a fee is criminal and stay clear of them. Most of the time your school’s financial aid office will provide a listing of legitimate scholarship sites to use.
Also, you should check your local area for annual scholarships that may apply to you like the Prescott Papers runs every year. These scholarships can range from 10 dollars to paying for your full tuition. Remember, that you should apply for all eligible scholarships and grants that apply to you because each award will be added to your financial aid package, which could pay for all your expenses. Another thing to keep in mind is that when you come across scholarships and grants and the deadline has passed, make a note of them so that next year you can apply for it on time.
Many of these awards will require for you to write a personal essay and it would be a great advantage for youth o write a general essay about yourself, why you need funding , what work or volunteer experiences you have and what your educational goals are, then take that essay to your English teacher or tutoring center to let them help you revise your essay. A well written essay will give you a competitive edge. Also gaining personal references from teachers and others in your community will make your application stand out.
Finally, once you have done all the leg work for applying for scholarships, grants and student loans, it would be helpful to get a summer job. Having a summer job prior to college will prepare you for dealing with others and having responsibility. A summer job will teach you about following guidelines, adhering to scheduling and the value of an earned dollar. Once you start to bring home checks be smart about it and put 70% of your earnings in savings and spend the rest. By saving that much you will not have to worry about finding a job during the first semester of college. And remember, your college years will be some of the best years of your young adult life, so be wise about your choices.