The most important thing students & parents can do before their “little guy” or “baby girl” head off to college is do their homework. Too many times I see students with overwhelming student loan debt because they failed to do their homework. One particular person has over $80,000 in student loans & hasn’t worked in a year, resulting in his $450 a month payments, not being paid.
Why end up with student loan debt you will end up paying off until your dead? Even if you’re lucky enough to get a good job out of college it still may take you a number of years to pay all your student loan debt off. So your best bet is to start researching. Find other ways to start paying for college. There is free government money out there called grants you can receive, assuming you meet their “needs” requirement. In other words if both of your parents work, chances are you won’t receive any grant money.
The hardest way to obtain money for college are called scholarships. They are deemed the hardest because they require more than filling out a few forms like applying for grants & loans. Most scholarships request you submit an essay for a slim chance at being the recipient of said scholarship. However, there are many available to you if you take the time to search for them. A student found a scholarship for someone who intends to become a veterinarian upon graduating college. Another found one for an inspiring actor.
There are more college offered scholarships out there than I can count. There are three huge ways you can find out about what you’re missing. First, have a sit down discussion with your high school guidance counselor. Usually your guidance counselor will have a list of local scholarships available. For instance, one parent each year in my district offers a $1,500 scholarship to students meeting particular requirements. This is more than likely a rarity, but some local companies may do something similar. Second, use your web surfing abilities to your advantage. Start searching for scholarships wherever you can. The site I see with the most information thus far has been FastWeb!
And finally once you’ve decided where you’re going to go to college call up the school’s financial aid office. You will be pleasantly surprised as to what they offer you. Certain colleges will offer students scholarships for the field of study they decide to enter. For example, one of my friends was a math student & received a scholarship each semester just for being in that major. He had to keep his grades at a respectable level too of course.
There are plenty of college offered scholarships out there, so go ahead & grab them. It is never too late.