Monday, November 22, 2010

An expensive college can be quite affordable!

Private colleges and universities are generally much more expensive than their public counterparts. But don't let the overall price of attendance scare you off. Many large private institutions have huge endowments. These endowments allow them to award quite a bit of financial aid, especially to those students who are tops in the country. Getting a top student helps the college's ratings.

So, if you are a top student, chances are your overall out of pocket costs can be quite low. The college wants you there. Many colleges will offer you more than others just to have you attend. In fact, you should let colleges compete for you and see who can come up with the best financial aid package.

This means you should and must apply to many schools.

Because of the generous awards from some schools, your overall cost can be lower than a cheaper college. Let's say college A charges $30,000 overall for tuition, room, and board. After the normal financial aid award, lets say that leaves you with about $15,000 left. The college may offer you $10,000 of that in scholarships, grants, and other discounts. Leaving $5,000 left out of pocket. Compare that to college B that costs $15,000. Your financial aid may be $10,000, but the college offers nothing more. That means your out of pocket expenses are again $5,000. This means both colleges will cost you the same. Financial aid is awarded on the total cost of attending college. The more expensive the college, the more aid there is that might be available to you.

Never let the high price of education scare you off.

The bottom line is to apply to many colleges and universities, both public and private. Then compare the different financial aid packages they offer. Decide which one leaves less for you to pay. Many colleges guarantee enough aid for all accepted students.

>>Quick tips to cut college costs.

>>5 jobs college students can get now.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

College student's budget busters

There is more to a college budget than books and tuition. In fact, those will be more manageable than the costs of other things that most college students want or need while in college. Many things are not thought of and can bust any college budget.

Here are just a few costs of college that are normally no in your budget.

Outfitting a dorm room. Shelves, bedding, and other accessories to make your dorm comfortable will add hundreds to your costs. Shop wisely and think used.

College Parking fees. This can add up to $50 a month. Leave the car at home if you can help it. Do more things on campus. Like study. Car insurance can be expensive. Read some tips of cheaper car insurance for students.

Students and Electronic gadgets. Cell phones, a new laptop, maybe an ipad or ipod. These are budget killers. Students should make an effort to acquire these items before college, or better still, just go for a laptop. The others you may not need.

College outerwear. From school sweatshirts to college team hoodies. You may feel the need to show some college pride. Choose items that you could wear on a daily basis. Get it to do double duty, not just school sports attendance. Sometimes the college bookstore sells these items for a lot less than brand names.

College students love snacks. Even if you have a meal plan, you will need snacks and food in the dorm. Most students do not know how expensive food is, as their parents supplied it for free. Buy bulk items and put in snack bags to lower the cost. Avoid single pack snacks. They are expensive.

Off campus activities. You will want to get away from campus. Movies and coffee shops for example. These can be college budget busters. Be sure and ask for local student discounts.

>>Click here to read more on the hidden costs of college.

>>Quick tips to lower college costs.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

3 Basic Ways of Getting Financial Aid

College students looking for money are most often concerned with financial aid. Financial aid is what the college you are attending awards you. It is calculated by your and your families financial situation. Once this is looked at, the college will tell you what financial aid they will award you.

To get any financial aid, you must fill out a FAFSA.

Grants are like gifts. They never have to be repaid. All college students can apply for a Pell Grant awarded by the federal government. The amount you get varies, up to a maximum of over $5,000. This grant is based on need. Many states, Like California, award their own grants as well. Virtually all state grants as well are awarded on financial need. There are other various grants for certain types of degrees and careers you choose. Your financial aid office will know which ones you can get.

Student Loans
All students going to college will be eligible to apply and get a student loan. Your year in college will dictate how much you can borrow. It varies from freshman to graduate student. This is not based on need. If you are enrolled, mostly at least half time, you will get a student loan. All direct student loans are done through the federal government by first doing the paperwork at your college's financial aid office. They will set it up for you. There are also federal PLUS loans for parents. And the money they can borrow is only the amount you need to pay for school, not a penny more. Again, your financial aid office will have all paperwork. There are other private student loans. But you need good credit and the terms are not as good as the federal direct loan program.

Work-study is a program where your college gives you a job on campus to make up for the money you need to pay for college. The federal government normally subsidizes these jobs. But, they are only awarded on financial need. They are not very high paying and you may find a better job outside of the campus. However, they are on campus and are flexible. The earnings do not count toward your finances that the school looks at when getting more financial aid. The work-study program will not allow you to work for them more than 15 hours a week. This is to not interfere with your study time. This does not keep you from getting a job off campus and working more hours.

There you have the three types of financial aid that are awarded. Notice we did not mention scholarships. Scholarships are not financial aid. College scholarships are awarded by many companies and agencies, including your college. You should definitely look into these as well. Scholarships do not have to be paid back either.

>>Click here with free help in finding college scholarships.

>>Be a teacher and find a teaching job.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's never too late to get money for college

Now is the time to start thinking about financial aid and paying for college in the next school year. After the first of the year, be sure and get that FAFSA in. However, if you are one who waits for the last minute, there can be hope. Getting money for college at the last minute is doable.

Look for scholarships that are offered at all times of the year, not just before the term starts. Read Tips for finding college scholarships.

Talk to your financial aid office. If you can't scrape up enough money, they can probably find a way to keep you in school. Sometimes they get money later, or even leave some set aside. The financial aid office should be the first place you look. They even make low cost loans and have payment plans for tuition.

Once you get your financial aid award, you can always ask for more. Many students don't realize this. Your circumstances may change and warrant a little more cash tossed your way. Read Tips for more financial aid.

A sure way of "having" enough money, is to take what you get and make a budget. Learn to save money in college. Make the most of the money you have. Sure it means cutting out extras and fun, but after graduating, you will be free to to these things. Getting through college should be your main priority anyway. Read 30 tips to cut college costs.

It not sound too good, but getting a job while in college is always an option. There are numerous jobs on and off campus. Many businesses can work around your schedule if you are willing. It can be tough to work and attend college, but if all your efforts are put into doing just that, you can make it.

As a last resort, as your relatives. You would be surprised as to how many relatives may contribute to your college fund. Send out a card or letter, making a professional pitch.

Getting money for college can be a daunting task. But a college education is well worth it. Be creative in your ways to get, earn, and save money for college!

>> College survival tips.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

College Student Loans - Don't go for broke!

Federal Student Loans are available to anybody that goes to college and fills out a FAFSA.

But college students need to be aware of the debt level they have when they graduate. It can be a huge load on your finances. Students don't normally think about this. They just like the money in the bank.

Don't make mistakes when it comes to student loans.

Borrow ONLY the amount of money you need to pay for college. This may be substantially less than what is offered. It may seem great to have more money, but college students have a tendency to go through it quick if it's there. You will one day need to pay it back. If you get more money than you need, and you have fun like movies, music, even Spring Break, you will be paying this off for years. You are delaying when you will be on a strong financial footing by getting into unneeded debt.

Watch your major. Will you get a great paying job right out of college and be able to make student loan payments with ease? Or do you know you will get a lower salary before working your way up? Will you always have a lower salary? These questions need to be answered before taking out any loans. It may not be worth it to pay such a large sum of money with a loan for a low paying job.

Don't think student loans first. There are many options of free money for college you need to exhaust before taking out a big loan. There are scholarships and grants like Federal Pell Grants.

Research the repayment terms. All direct student loans are done by the federal government now and there are various good repayment plans. But private student loans are another matter. These will be based on your credit and they are more stringent as far as repaying them. If you can't make the payments, it will effect your credit score.

You should plan on cutting your expense to make college cheaper. You don't have to live like you have a never ending supply of money. You need to live like a broke college student. Watch how you spend your money. Visit our Ways of Saving Money in College page. You don't want to be making payments for years on past trips to the movies!

>> 5 jobs college students can get now.

>> College students and credit cards.

>> Repaying Student loans.