Education is a good investment for the future; this is due to the fact that the certificates and knowledge gained stay for a lifetime. Looking at education as an investment lies in the fact that the benefits in terms of money obtained afterward is greater than the cost throughout your educational life, this is shown by obtaining a successful career. You start planning how you will finance your education from the institute where you want to apply.
Steps to follow to be Able to Finance Your Education
Before enrolling into graduate school there is careful study of the various fields of study and their outcomes; the financial preparation is planned parallel to the type of program chosen. If you fail to plan for a budget then as the school year goes by things might become complicated.
The total amount of money a student needs for tuition and living expenses throughout the academic year can be sum up to make the cost of attendance (COA). This activity is carried out in some schools to help students have an estimate of the cost of living. From here a student can know the limit of the amount of money needed to request for financial aid or loans.
Students with addition expenses like medicals and child care can be given an increase to their budget by the schools administration.
Work study program
Colleges are able to provide jobs for students like Federal work – study (FWS), which can permit them to obtain money to meet up with their expenses in school. This can be done by the school engaging them into community service work and work that is related to the student field of study. The advantage of FWS is that it can give a part – time job to a student while he is enrolled in school.
Using summer jobs
There is usually a boom in students searching for a job during the summer in order to meet up with their educational budget. This is also an opportunity for the student to get real-world work experience and also to make cash at the same time. Due to good services offered by a student to a company, the employer can decide to offer tuition assistance. More to that they can be paid with more than a paycheck, an example of a sector that employs students a lot is the fast food service.
Using college grants to pay your education
When preparing in funding your education, one of the most known options is a grant. Making a dream come true like going to college is made possible to a student with low funds if he chooses the right grant. Grants have many advantages for example, scholarships which generally are given based on academic performance or artistic, athletic performances. Grants on the other hand are awarded based on financial needs. Grants are different from loans because on like loans, grants do not require repayment. For a students to know their eligibility status for a grant, they should fill out a FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). College grants are free money awards that are not repaid by the recipient. The source of this money could be from Federal and State Government, Colleges and Universities, Public and Private Organizations and Professional Associations.
Taking a federal student loan
This is money borrowed with interest; this can have different sources like from the Federal Government, banks or financial institutes. The Federal student loans have a lower interest rate as compared to the banks and financial institutions. In addition to that the Federal student loan repayment is more flexible. There are two types of the Federal student loan :
I. Federal Stafford loans; it is granted by the government because of low interest rate and flexibility in its repayment option. This loan has the characteristic of being subsidized or unsubsidized. The subsidized loans are given to students based on financial needs and the interest imposed on the amount taken is paid by the government as the student is in school. Whereas, in unsubsidized loans the borrower pays the interest while in school before repayment begins and it is not awarded based on income.
II. Federal plus loans; this loan is also known as the Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate students. The parent borrows for the student in this case and the loan is as well issued with low interest.
Scholarships as a tool in financing education
Most scholarships are offered by private institutions and are non-profit making in nature. The purpose of a scholarship is to advance the education of bright students in general which means scholarships are gained on merits. The greatest tool where scholarships can be found is the internet and there are a number of websites to facilitate these access like fastweb, Fonolive, FinAid.com, Broke Scholars, Certification Map just to name a few.
Graduate school resources, in other colleges there is assistanceship carried out like tuition fee waiver offered to students taking a graduate degree program.
Knowledge is power and there are so many ways to get there. As a student it is important to know the opportunities that facilitate the financing of your education that will make things easier. Therefore, there should be awareness of existing opportunities and upcoming opportunities.