, everyone knows, our country is a mess. Is there anything a student can do?
With Wall Street and the banking situation still in flux, and with the housing market in an unbelievable slump, businesses on the downturn, and unemployment up, it’s more important than ever for students to take steps to help themselves as much as possible.
Making things even more tenuous for students is that now more lenders are dropping student loans.
Several months before everything really fell apart, Distance-Education.org offered 8 ideas to help students and parents get a leg up on college tuition. This advice is still worth looking at:
"Choose a school based on cost" - Community schools and state schools worth giving serious thought to.
"Make sure you’re getting the best deal" - Don’t accept your college’s financial aid offer at face value. Ask about getting the most you can in government loans, and find out about the interest rate on private loans.
"Make the most out of existing credits" – Two things to keep in mind: you might be able to apply credits earned if you’ve gone to college before and if you have work experience, it may qualify for experience credits.
"Get obsessed with finding free money" - Besides the FAFSA, “grant and scholarship money is available from nonprofits, state education funds, religious institutions, corporations, and community and fraternal organizations.”
Getting some scholarships can make a difference, “and you won’t have to pay it back.”
"Get a job" – A way to support yourself and/or start paying loans back early. Schools with work-study programs allow students to apply their pay toward tuition.
"Live at home" - By living at home, students won’t have to pay rent, laundry bills, and utilities, and may not need the school’s meal plan. This would be a significant savings.
"Go to school online" – Attending online schools mean no meal plans, dorm expenses or transportation costs. Plus you could work full-time while you attend school, since online schools are flexible. So you could pay your tuition while you attend.
This last suggestion is a little different.
"Buy a house and rent it out" – If you or your parents can afford to buy a multi-room house near your college, you can rent out rooms to other students thus covering mortgage, repairs, other home costs PLUS pay back some of your college tuition!
According to a handout from Wells Fargo Bank, college students should take “5 Easy Steps Toward Financial Success”. Check out the link for more details.
1. “Beware The Dangers of Credit Cards
2. Before You Sign on the Dotted Line, Do Your Research
3. Look for Ways to S T R E T C H Your Dollar
4. Create – And Stick To – A Budget
5. Use the Hands on Banking Program”
Some other sources for money-saving tips for students:
Financial Web The Independent Financial Portal - Financial Tips for College Students
College Student Money Guide - Financial Tips for Student Success (August 11, 2008)
Southeastern Louisiana University - Student Financial Success
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