With even the most basic entry-level jobs requiring a degree, a college education is a necessity. But with the cost of a college education ranging from $10k per year for in-state tuition at a public university to over $35k for a private school, financing higher education can be a huge, and potentially costly, burden.
But it doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 smart ways to finance your college education.
1. Employer Backed Education Benefits
This one only works if you already have a job. However, most companies have some sort of education benefits package which will pay for employees who want to continue their education and build on a skill set.
Even if there isn’t a formal program in place, still talk to your manager and HR. They might be able to work something out. Plus, you won’t have to pay taxes on a portion of the money you use for tuition, which is a nice bonus.
2. Private Loans
Thanks to student loans getting a lot of bad press recently, you may be wary of this option. However, there are plenty of lenders who are willing to work with you to ensure you aren’t crippled under debt after you graduate. For example, Bonsai Finance can help you consolidate and manage your payments.
It is important to note though, private lender’s rates can vary greatly. Be sure you do your research and find ones with low-interest rates and flexible payment options.
3. Better Yet, Only Borrow From the Government
The federal Stafford loans are generally a much wiser option if you need to borrow money. They have a fixed rate, which means they can never increase your interest as time goes on. Plus, there is the possibility of having your loan forgiven if you qualify.
Loan forgiveness is usually based on post-graduation employment, but there are a few other ways to go about it. However, you should attempt to not borrow more than you can pay off.
4. Look For Free (or Cheaper) Online Classes
Sometimes you just want to brush up on a few niche classes or skills. A lot of top-notch schools and universities offer certification programs for little to no money at all.
Thanks to sites like EdX and FutureLearn you can look for classes online to boost your skillset. Just a head’s up if you want a certificate of completion, you will have to pay for it. However, it is usually around $99; so it won’t break the bank.
Just because you didn’t get offered a scholarship from the school you got into doesn’t mean you don’t qualify for others. There are literally thousands of scholarships available every year up for the taking. Some may be one-offs, others reoccurring, so do your research and find the one which is best for you.
And the best part about scholarships is you don’t have to pay them back. So, they can take a lot of post-graduation debt fears off your hands.
Financing Higher Education
If getting a degree is something you are interested in doing, for whatever reason, there are plenty of ways of financing higher education costs. Do your research and find out what is available for you.
If you want more information on courses to help further your career or if you are interested in starting a new one, check out our site.