As we sadly finish another Illinois summer, the buzz of “back to school” talk of August begins. On the same token, prospective college students planning on attending universities begin to feel the burden of financing the enormous cost of college tuition. Many young people begin to worry...How will I pay for my education? Can I afford this? We’re sharing four helpful financial tips you may want to consider to help you or your family pay for college!
Applying for Financial Aid
One way to discover the options available is by applying for financial assistance on the FAFSA website. After filling out a FAFSA form, you will find out which financial aid you qualify for – this may include student loans and grants. It’s important to note that when you qualify for loans, you are required to pay them back with interest, but a grant is awarded based on your financial need and does not need to be repaid. The FAFSA website also provides information on work-study programs and scholarships.
Applying for Scholarships
Scholarship opportunities are defined as, “Gift aid that don’t need to be repaid and are awarded based on a variety of factors including academic achievement, talent, athletic ability, leadership, geographical location, field of student, or financial need,” according to the University of Illinois. Here are a list of outside scholarships U of I lists on their website. To find out what types of scholarships your college offers, be sure to stop in to the financial aid office for assistance on how to apply.
Illinois public universities are beginning to offer financial assistance and new scholarship programs to their students to compete with the scholarships offered at out-of-state institutions. Here’s what each Illinois public university is offering…
Other places you may want to look for scholarship opportunities include your local high school guidance counselor (if you’re in high school), local businesses, employers, financial institutions, religious organizations, community youth groups, alumni associations and civic organizations.
Creative Ways to Earn Money While in School
Freelancing, house sitting, Uber driving, and tutoring are just a few ideas this website offers as creative ways to pay off your college tuition that don’t involve taking out student loans! Don’t write off college just because you don’t want to take out a student loan. Paying for college without accruing the debt of a loan is possible, it just takes some creativity and hard work!
Jobs that Give Employees Money Toward College
Another way to help pay for college is to work for a company that offers tuition reimbursement. “Here’s how it typically works: an employee pays upfront for college, graduate, or continuing education classes, and once the class or semester is complete, the employee pays back a portion of money spent—or the full amount,” according to The Balance Careers. Here is a list of local Chicago-based companies that offer tuition reimbursement!