How to Pay for College with No Money

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If you or your family is already struggling to make ends meet in this economy, trying to find a way to pay for college may be a daunting task. But even if you don’t have a lot of money, there are ways to compensate if you aren’t afraid of a little extra work and a spending a few extra hours filling out applications or writing a few essays.

Federal Student Aid


Plan for college educationOne of the first places you’ll want to look for money for college is with the federal government. They have a huge student financial aid program, offering both low-interest loans and grants to those who qualify. Just about every American in the US is eligible for a student loan, but keep in mind that loans have got to be paid back at some point, so you might be looking at a bigger cost in the future.
On the other hand, financial assistance also comes in the form of online scholarships (they don’t need to be paid back). 

State Financial Aid

Besides the government, individual states also offer tuition assistance in the form of loans. These assistance programs are usually based on a combination of a number of factors, like tuition need and GPA or interest in a certain field. Some states may also give you money in return for a contract to work for the state after graduation for a specified period of time. Check your state’s education website for more information on loans available to you.

Private Funds

Lastly, non-profit and for-profit companies as well as foundations and other organizations offer millions of dollars each year in grants to students who are eligible. Some companies provide monetary help to children of employees—so check with your parents. Other companies will provide scholarship to graduates who will join the company after graduation. And yet more organizations may award scholarships based on ethnic origin, religious affiliation, academic performance, and a number of other factors. If you are a member of a minority ethnic group or are active in your religious community, check with local and national organizations about grant programs.

Grants

They are based solely on individual need and are given on a first-come-first-served basis.  Always keep in mind that you might not qualify based on several application processing factors.  So fill out your fafsa early in the year to qualify for the most amount possible.

Paying for college can be a difficult process that involves a lot of research, phone calls, or writing essays, but if you can get your budget together to go back to school, the return on your investment can be invaluable.

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