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How to Afford a College Degree
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.