8 alternative ways to pay for college -- Page 2
So why not attend a community college for a couple
of years and then transfer to your dream college? It's not as if
the fancy diploma you'll hang on your wall will say "transfer
Taking the transfer-student route will save you some
serious cash. Every credit earned at a low-cost community college
could save you hundreds of dollars in tuition. Also, by bunking
at your parent's house, you could knock down your room-and-board
charges to zero.
"You get some of your core curriculum out of
the way for a cheaper price," Cooper says.
The first step is learning about articulation agreements
at your dream university and nearby two-year colleges.
An articulation agreement specifies which community
college course credits will be accepted toward a bachelor's degree
at the four-year college or university. It also outlines scholarship
requirements and specifies what kind of grades a student must achieve
to transfer to the four-year school as a junior.
3. Go where you're wanted
Somewhere out there is a college or university that's dying to have
you as a student. Find that school, fire off an application and
watch the cost of your college education drop.
"Every student is a star at the right college,"
says Ray Loewe, president of College Money, a Marlton, N.J., financial
planning firm specializing in helping parents pay for college.
And star students get deep discounts for their education.
A college that really wants you will find the aid and scholarships
to keep you.
"Colleges know what they want, and if you fit
their criteria, they're willing to pay," Loewe says.
The trick is finding the school that considers you
Peruse college guides. Do your grades and SAT scores
match or exceed the average marks of the current student body? Does
the college offer the courses you want?
If so, this could be the school that rolls out the
red carpet for you.
"Choose a college where you fit in the top 25
to 30 percent of a class," Loewe says. "Obviously, the
higher you are the more the school wants you and the better position
Not sure where to start your college search? Begin
by checking out smaller, regional colleges in your area. An excellent
but less-known college may be searching for a student just like
4. Choose a tuition-free school
Overwhelmed by tuition prices and the prospect of paying massive
student loans after you graduate? Why not attend a tuition-free
school? You get the college education you want without the hefty
price tag. The catch? You may have to work. Some schools require
students to work 10 to 15 hours a week on campus and in jobs related
to their majors.
Tuition-free colleges include The Cooper Union in
New York, N.Y.; Webb Institute in Glen Cove, N.Y.; Berea College
in Berea, Ky.; College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo.; and
Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Ky.
5. Get a sponsor
Cant quite swing the cost of college? Federal student loans
are the best way to go when borrowing money for school. The government
sets the maximum rate of interest and any qualified federal loan
lender is able to charge less, such as MyRichUncle. The company
provides federal Stafford, PLUS and Graduate PLUS student with upfront
interest rates that start at repayment. There are no minimum number
of on-time payments to qualify and this interest rate cut will never
be taken away from the borrower, so long as they dont default
of their loan.