How to Pay for College: 9 Helpful Tips
1. Check out college websites for scholarships, grants, & other aid
Review websites for available scholarships, grants, and aid to help pay for college. Contact financial aid offices for steps to receive aid, and find a school that fits your needs – academically AND financially. This can mean evaluating living scenarios, travel, food expenses, etc. when determining which school to apply to/attend.
2. Fill out a FAFSA Form online
You never know if you could qualify for federal grant funding to pay for your school, so always apply to be sure. Pursue all institutional scholarships or aid first – even the smallest amount of assistance can make a difference. Financial Aid Specialists can also help you with available options to pay for college.
Need help filling out your Financial Aid application? Texarkana College Financial Aid Specialists can help
3. Find community scholarships or try a service organization
It can pay off to be active in a service organization. Some non-profits have scholarship programs for students with a history of helping their service cause. Being involved in a service organization can also help you build connections for job placement and develop job skills that look great on a resume. Contact a local representative of the organization you’re involved in, or check websites of organizations to see where you can get involved and find scholarship opportunities.
4. Apply for a work-study or part-time position
Try applying for a job. Apply for a work-study job at the college if you are financial aid eligible, or try applying for any part-time position available. This is a great way to have financial support while you complete your education and gives you the ability to practice job skills for your resume and network for career placement. Texarkana College posts work-study and local part-time position openings on the myTC Job Board (student login required).
5. Visit an Educational Opportunity Center for one-on-one guidance
Educational Opportunity Centers provide admissions counseling and assistance to first-generation college students. They can help you find and apply for scholarships, complete scholarship essays, financial planning, financial aid, academic coaching, and orientation. EOC Specialists are great resources if you are a non-traditional or first in your family to go to college and want that personal touch to get started.
6. Check out military & veterans benefits
If you served in the military or national guard, or have a parent who is a veteran, you may qualify for educational benefits based on that military service that can help pay for college. The Veterans Affairs Education Hotline (1-888-442-4551) or a TC Financial Aid Specialist can help you learn more about military educational benefits.
7. Start at a community college
If you attend a community college like TC for two years instead of a university, you’ll save an average of $14,000 over two years compared to tuition costs at the average public university.
8. Save money leading up to college & pay your way
There are many students who work to put themselves through school. Work hard now to pay for those classes so that when you graduate and start bringing in a paycheck, you can enjoy it – debt-free. Choosing a college or university with a low price tag, or starting at an affordable community college and transferring, can help you achieve this.
9. Explore student loan options
Consider taking out loans only if you have limited funding options. Only take out loans if you are sure that your degree will lead to a job upon graduation, because you will have to begin repaying federal loans six months after you are no longer enrolled. The total amount of money you take out as a loan should not exceed your first-year salary. Career Coach offers estimated salaries for different career paths.
Visit https://www.debt.org/students/ for more information on student loans.
Texarkana College is here to help you get started.
We offer scholarships for graduating high school seniors, current TC students, and students graduating TC and moving on to universities, and even special college funding options for U.S. Veterans and their families.
Ready to get started? Check out the steps for admission here!
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