It’s no secret that college costs and arm and a leg (and a shoulder, and a kidney). It’s an important experience for so many, but you still need to ask yourself, “How am I going to pay for this?” Many college students rely on their parents to help cover at least some of the costs. However, what if your parents can’t help you? Or choose not to? Just because your parents won’t pay for your college doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go. Here are some alternative ways to cover college on your own.
1. Financial Aid
Without financial aid, tons of students wouldn’t be able to make it through their college careers. Financial aid can come in the form of grants or scholarships, or even loans or work-study. Filling out the FAFSA (that’s the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a great place to start. All you have to do is fill out an application and the U.S. Department of Education will take care of the rest to see what type of federal financial aid you’re eligible for. There are also tons of scholarship websites (like us!) that let you enter contests to win scholarships for college.
Holding down a job is an obvious way to make money to pay for school. The money you earn adds up and can really put a dent in your expenses. Maybe you won’t be able to pay for all of it on your own, but every penny counts. This is great if you have financial aid that will cover most of your college costs, because the money you earn can go towards the rest of the bill.
GoFundMe is a fundraising site that allows you to gain money for personal or public charity causes. GoFundMe makes it easy for you to start your campaign - all you have to do is tell your story, share it, and enjoy the donations from family, friends, and even strangers who see it. Depending on your cause, the money may not come in as quick as a check from a job, but it is worth a shot.
4. Get Creative
If you’re having a difficult time coming up with the last few hundred dollars, you can always find things to sell. You can sell old clothes, shoes, furniture, or even make your own accessories or t-shirts to sell. There are tons of ways to make money - you just have to think outside of the box sometimes.
Life would be a lot easier if college was free, but we don’t have that luxury. Paying for college isn’t easy, especially when it’s all on you. Just remember, there are a lot of ways to pay (or at least help pay) for college. You just need to do what it takes!