Graduating from high school is an exciting time for many young adults. It's a time of accomplishment and new beginnings. However, often during this time students put funding their college education on the back burner. In the midst of getting through that final year of high school, steps to help prepare financially for college can be missed. Here are some funding options to help make college more affordable.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
This is the most important step in determining how much money you will have for your education (and how much you may still need). The FAFSA is a free and easy form you can fill out online. Be sure to pay attention to deadlines.
Inquiring with high school counselors about scholarship opportunities can help pay for your schooling not covered by Federal Student Aid. Scholarships start becoming available as early as your junior year in high school. Also take the time and visit websites of local foundations, organizations, and companies in your community. They often offer scholarships, like our CorTrust Bank Scholarship.
When filling out the FAFSA, you may want to fill out the section regarding work-study. The Federal Work-study Program gives students who have financial need the opportunity to work to assist with monthly educational expenses. Typically, your college or university will have a list of work-study job openings available.
Another option for students is to get a part-time job. This extra money can be utilized on books and other living expenses. Plus, it gives students the chance to add jobs and skills to their resume and make new connections within a community.
When planning for funding your college education, it is important to cover all your bases. Make sure you take advantage of all the existing opportunities, such as Federal Student Aid, scholarships, work-study, and part-time work to ensure you are getting the most money available to assist with your education.