While attending a college or university may be expensive, there are several different ways you can reduce the overall cost of higher education.
Choose an educational institution wisely.
•Evaluate the costs of public vs. private, two-year vs. four-year, in-state vs. out-of-state schools
•Take general education classes at a local state or community college
• Research graduation rates, job placement rates, and average amounts of loans borrowed from the colleges you are looking at.
Plan how you will pay for college.
-Save for college
-Use education loyalty and affinity programs
-Explore financial aid options
-Claim tax credits and deductions for education
Plan to graduate on time (within four years)
-Money is time – The longer you take the higher the cost in tuition, time, and resources, along with a delay in earning power.
-Research schools that offer accelerated programs – students should seek programs of study that will allow degree attainment in the shortest time possible.
Take accelerated coursework/curriculum
-Advanced Placement classes prepare students with the possibility of earning academic scholarships and specific scholarships in certain fields of study: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
-College Level Examinations Programs (CLEP) allows students to earn credit if they demonstrate proficiency in college courses.
-International Baccalaureate degrees could possible equate to college credit
Work outside of the classroom
-Helps build professional network and professional references
-Helps earn money for college expenses
-Federal work-study programs
-Provides opportunities for full-time employment after graduation
-Helps prioritize your time for classes, studying, and free time
Develop a spending plan
Develop a spending plan, or budget, and develop long-term and short-term goals for the money that you earn or any excess financial aid funds that may be released to you.
Check out Mapping Your Future website for more information.
To receive student aid there are requirements students must meet first.
–Students must obtain a college or career school education, either by having a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or by completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law.
–Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program.
–Be registered with Selective Service, if you are a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25).
–Have a valid Social Security number unless you are from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau.
–Sign certifying statements on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) stating that
*you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe a refund on a federal grant and
*you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.
–Maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or career school.
In Addition you must be one of the following:
-U.S. citizen or U.S. National
-Have a grean card
-Have an arrival-departure record
-Have battered immigrant status
-Have a T-Visa
To file for Federal Student Aid go to FAFSA for a free application.
– A variety of financial assistance programs are available to help you fund your college education. Scholarships, grants and work-study assignments are available to students of all ages and backgrounds.
–The first step for most of these programs is to complete and file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 each year. You must file your FAFSA before April 1 to qualify for the Access Missouri grant.
Findout if you qualify for financial aid.
–Federal Student Aid
*Federal Pell Grant
*Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
*Teacher education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
*Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
*Federal Work Study
*Federal Perkins Loan
*Direct Subsidized Loan
*Direct PLUS Loans
–State Student Aid
*Access Missouri Grant
*Advanced Placement Incentive Grant
*Bright Flight Scholarship
*Kids’ Chance Scholarship
*Marguerite Ross Barnett Memorial Scholarship
*Minority Teaching Scholarship
*Minority and Underrepresented Environmental Literacy Program
*Public Service Officer Survivor Grant
*Vietnam Veteran Survivor Grant
*Wartime Veteran’s Survivors Grant