One of the primary reason why people are intimidated or dissuaded from getting a higher education is due to the lack of financial resource. It is a known fact that university education is expensive. Aside from the tuition, there are expenses such as books, board and lodging, meals and other incidental costs that you need to deal with while completing your course.
It may seem daunting and impossible to finish your education. Fortunately, you can tap the help of the universities, government and private or non-profit organizations to you finance your education.
There are two major types of financial aid that a student can avail. The first and the most popular one are merit-based financial assistance or scholarship. This is given by the college or private institution for students demonstrating academic excellence, leadership, and exceptional sports talent. The receiver of the scholarship does not need to have a financial need to qualify for a scholarship. The other one is need-based which refers to financial aid given to a student with financial need. The most typical need-based financial aid is grants and student loans.
Now, let us learn how and where you can avail financial aid to support your education.
This is usually granted by universities, private and non-profit institutions to students that have proven academic and leader excellence. Also, these are also granted to students with an exceptional talent for sports. Although it is the most prestigious form of financial aid, it is also the hardest to secure due to the stringent qualifications and requirements from the applicant.
Scholarships usual cover the entirety or part of the schooling expenses, so you do not have to worry about repayment. You may contact your university or private institutions such as AXA or Coca-cola for their scholarship programs. You may search the internet for more information about scholarship programs of the different institution. However, please be wary of institutions that ask you to pay to get a scholarship. These are usually just scams.
This is a financial aid given to a student with financial need to cover expenses for education. There is no repayment required except if you do not meet the minimum conditions of the grant, such as withdrawing from school. The grant may be enough to pay for all or part of the student’s financial need.
The grant is usually offered by the government or the university. The most common grant provided by the federal government is the Federal Pell Grant. It is advisable to apply for the grant way ahead of the school year because there are only a limited amount of students that could be accommodated.
This is a type of financial aid that needs to be repaid. The best option would be Federal Loans because they offer the lowest interest rates. There are also private loans available in banks.
It may seem scary to take a loan but consider it as an investment for yourself. As the cliche goes, education is a treasure that no one can take away from you. Having a higher education increases your chance for higher salary and promotion. Just ensure that you understand the terms of the loan you are availing and are amenable to its terms and conditions.
This is a federal government-initiated program that provides part-time employment to students that have a financial need. There are also programs that are not need-based, such as getting a student job that you can explore to help ends meet while you are finishing your studies.
This is a form of crowdsourcing where you get your funding from family and friends. There are online platforms that support this such as Studentfunder.com. P2P allows more flexibility in the interest rate and term since you are dealing with people you know.
These are just some of the available options that could help you finance your studies. The first step is to inquire and plan accordingly. Do not be afraid to ask because the worse they can tell you is just no. Always think that getting your education is the first step to making a change in your life. You will never regret the investment in education that you give to yourself.