Many people feel that a university or college education is out of their reach. Especially as one of the hardest parts of getting a good education can be having the funds to afford it without getting into debt.
Whether you have been accepted onto your dream college course, are in the process of applying, or are just considering your options. How you will afford to pay for it, will most probably be a priority. Even if college and university seem a long way off, it is never too early to begin your financial planning.
There are so many debt-free ways to pay for your education, to find out more have a read of this.
One way to afford your education without getting into debt, is to do so by being awarded a scholarship. Each individual school or institution will have different types of scholarships available. It worth having a look into what your favourite universities can offer. Some scholarships are awarded for academic excellence, and others for other circumstances. If you will be funding your studies yourself, look into the scholarships on offer to you at a few different institutions. This will give you a better idea of what financial help you may have.
Bursaries and hardship funds
As well as fully paid scholarships, many colleges and universities offer learning bursaries and hardship funds. There are both institution based and government based bursaries and funds available. Bursaries are often awarded to students who join the college or university from a local high school or from a school with links to the institution. What you are entitled to will depend on various factors, such as your family’s income, your location, previous school attended, and even your nationality. Hardship funds are awarded to students who come from low income families and poorer backgrounds. Although learning bursaries and hardship funds don’t tend to cover the entire cost of your education, they will help to lower the bills. They will also give you a better chance of affording your education without slipping into debt.
The simplest way to be able to afford your college education, is to start saving up for it. This might sound mad, given the high cost of most higher education fees, but is a good place to start.
If you still have a few years until you aim to go to college, you have plenty of time to save up. Even if you can only afford to put away a few pounds a week, it is better than nothing. Setting aside a small amount of money from birthday cards and summer jobs can go much further than you think. Speak to your bank about opening a high interest savings account or even a high interest ISA that you can deposit any money you save into. Instead of having presents for your birthday, you could ask friends and relatives to send you a cheque towards your education savings.
If you only have a short time left until you start college or university and still don’t have enough money to fund yourself, then it might be a good idea to get a weekend or after school job.
There are so many different jobs available, it is just about finding the perfect one for you. You could look into local waitressing opportunities or babysit for your neighbours. You could work as a tutor for younger students or work for Walmart. Ensure you choose a job that fits around your current studies and other commitments. Before applying for any position, ensure that your cv is well written and up-to-date. If you are worried about spending your wages, ask your employer if they can pay them directly into your savings account.
Ask your parents
If you come from a wealthy background, and are unable to cover your education costs yourself, ask your parents if they can help. It may be that your parents have been saving up for your college education since you were born, or that they are willing to cover half the costs for you. If you are lucky enough to have your parents or other relatives pay for your education, then don’t take it for granted. Work hard, get good grades and enjoy everything that university has to offer.
Earn whilst you learn
If all else fails, and you haven’t got enough money to support yourself through university, look for a job you can do whilst you study. Although this may add pressure to your university workload, it will also allow you to get the education that you want. Look for well paid, flexible roles that will fit around your studies and not take up too much of your time.