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How to Afford a College Degree

1 February 2011 7,703 views 45 Comments

Many are touting that there is a shortage in financial aid ahead, and predicting that there will be few options for many students through 2012. In a US News article by Kim Clark she states that, “only about 50 percent of college students are expected to receive free money in 2011 and 2012.” So how can the other 50% afford a college degree?

Finding Free Money

The best strategy for obtaining, “finding” money for college is applying for financial aid and scholarships early, finding schools recruiting in your area, making top grades, saving and cutting expenses. Scholarships are the best source for “free money” and although it may be tough to find the right scholarship, we recommend searching on StudentScholarshipSearch.com to find one that will help you, and joining ScholarshipPoints.com which requires no essay or test scores to qualify*. But before you go on the hunt for scholarships, there are money saving decisions you should consider from the start, such as: is the cost of the program worth it?

Find a Program That Works for YOU

Finding the right education program is the clearest path towards earning more, but it has to make sense. The most important feature that should influence your enrollment decision is the program offered – not the price, but the reality is that if you are investing in an education program you should research if and when you will be able to pay back loans and college expenses after graduating. The numbers are out there, all you have to do is a bit of research to find the highest paying degrees and the starting salary in a variety of fields. Thanks to online schools education options are expanding and more students have access to higher education. Current students fill credits on summer and winter breaks by taking an online class specific to their major, and others are opting for the 100% online route to save on cash and time. It is no longer just the well known and established online programs at University of Phoenix, DeVry University or Cappella University, many established campus schools such as Boston University and Quinnipiac University offer successful online options too. Learning online means learning at your own pace, online education, however, is not right for everyone. Just like a traditional program, online colleges are no walk in the park! You have to commit time to learning and be self motivated, to make the grades, but when financial aid is not available this is a viable path towards successfully getting your degree and starting a career. Online programs can range in costs, but offer additional savings in travel and parking and the ability to keep a current job. A benefit of working while earning your degree online is tuition reimbursement. Many employers will compensate an employee for their education efforts by increasing pay, or through tuition assistance and reimbursement programs.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask For Help

If you are having trouble securing scholarships and financial aid in 2011 do not give up on ways to earn your degree. Ask your employer, get in touch with financial aid experts and scholarship foundations. Education is a very valuable asset that can help you achieve personal as well as professional goals. If you are struggling with a financial situation and have tough financial aid question visit www.financialaidforum.com to find resources, and get answers from financial aid experts.

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45 Responses to “How to Afford a College Degree”

  1. Online Education Guru says on March 19, 2012 at 9:20 am:

    Those of you looking for extra $— Check out this infographic: http://www.privatestudentloans.com/fill-the-gap/

  2. Lira says on February 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm:

    Thank you for the information! It was quite useful.

  3. Chloe says on February 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm:


  4. jennifer says on February 22, 2011 at 12:10 pm:

    this is a really informative article it opens your mind on financial aid

  5. Michelle says on February 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm:

    This article didn’t waste my time because i actually learned something, Thank you!

  6. Michelle says on February 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm:

    the info was useful, thank you.

  7. Michelle says on February 21, 2011 at 8:10 pm:

    This information was educational/ useful. Thank you

  8. Diana says on February 20, 2011 at 5:12 pm:

    Learned something from this… thanks.

  9. Kama says on February 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm:

    Well written Article

  10. Sarah says on February 20, 2011 at 11:09 am:

    This article truly helped me a lot. Thanks!

  11. Melody says on February 20, 2011 at 1:30 am:

    Just doing what I need to do to get my Scholarship points :)

  12. nur says on February 18, 2011 at 7:20 pm:

    great info!

  13. lisa says on February 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm:

    lots of good info :)

  14. Allie says on February 18, 2011 at 3:23 pm:

    very useful!

  15. Tyler says on February 17, 2011 at 8:20 pm:

    Im just going to comment to get my free scholarship points dont like to kiss butt to things so I wont..

  16. Nick says on February 16, 2011 at 10:40 am:

    wow this information is great for me to use

  17. Jordan says on February 14, 2011 at 4:40 pm:

    yup exactly

  18. Tevin says on February 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm:

    There are so many Scholarships to apply for thanks for to info.

  19. Montessori school Illinois says on February 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm:

    This is great. For those who need it, find it!

  20. renecia says on February 8, 2011 at 9:15 am:

    this article was really interesting. thank you very much

  21. Irma Martinez says on February 8, 2011 at 1:39 am:

    GREAT! Thanks

  22. fahim says on February 7, 2011 at 5:01 pm:

    it is helpful

  23. courtney says on February 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm:

    this helps. i needed this.

  24. seisei says on February 6, 2011 at 9:43 pm:

    this is a very helpful article..

  25. Kristal says on February 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm:

    This was a well written article. Thank you.

  26. Cole Rauch says on February 5, 2011 at 12:01 am:

    This article made me really start to realize that I don’t have much time left to get all the money I need for college, so I better hurry up and get more.

  27. Shannon says on February 4, 2011 at 8:51 pm:

    I found this article very helpful. It is good advise.

  28. Yesenia says on February 4, 2011 at 8:21 pm:

    Really use full information.

  29. Amber says on February 3, 2011 at 2:38 pm:

    This is an interesting article. There are some really helpful points that are made though when it comes to scholarships, there is no guarantee that scholarships are easy to obtain. You can apply but there’s no certainty in one winning. I just hope I can win some scholarships this year to help with school.

  30. valerie says on February 3, 2011 at 1:08 am:

    really helpfull

  31. Alicia says on February 3, 2011 at 12:40 am:

    This information is really useful. It’s true is hard to get free money.

  32. ngoan says on February 2, 2011 at 8:22 pm:

    it’s really helpful

  33. ngoan says on February 2, 2011 at 8:21 pm:

    OMG ! this is really helpful

  34. ngoan says on February 2, 2011 at 8:13 pm:

    thanks !

  35. Pang says on February 2, 2011 at 3:33 pm:


  36. Rodney Austin says on February 2, 2011 at 12:55 pm:

    This was helpful because my Mom is a single Parent and I want to go to college so I definitely need all the tools I can go get ahead….

  37. Sok says on February 2, 2011 at 11:19 am:

    Interesting, I didn’t know that you can get a scholarship from your employer.

  38. Marisha says on February 2, 2011 at 7:29 am:

    I’m not sure if this article was written for undergrads or graduate students. I believe there should be a distinction, because it is almost impossible to receive free money to obtain a graduate degree. The only options for a graduate degree is to apply for financial aid and even taking this route, you’re only eligible for a student loan.

    • ErM says on February 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm:

      There are scholarships, grants and stipens available to help graduate students, check out the Frame My Future 2011 Scholarship contest.

      I agree the ‘free money’ deal is hard to find, and you can’t count on winning scholarships to cover the entire cost, but you should feel confident in your investment in yourself – you are paying for a degree that will ultimately empower you to pay back those loans. right?

      I think the article refers to both – I have read about some really great online graduate degrees that cost significantly less than brick and mortar schools.

  39. Roqiah says on February 2, 2011 at 1:31 am:

    it is useful information but I am not online person.

  40. steve says on February 1, 2011 at 10:21 pm:

    this is great information!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. oriana says on February 1, 2011 at 8:42 pm:

    yeah thats what i thought

  42. Trevor says on February 1, 2011 at 5:41 pm:

    i so thought that too!

  43. Tiffany Mullins says on February 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm:

    this article made me really think how to get money for fincial aid

  44. Candice Tso says on February 1, 2011 at 2:24 pm:

    I thought that this information was very useful. I want to thank the editors of this article and opinion for informing me. Thanks!

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