There are a lot of different financial aid options out there.
A big concern of mine when I was going into college was the cost. One of my biggest goals in life is to not go into debt. I’ve seen what it does to families and the amount of stress it loads onto individual people. I would like to be free.
So obviously I was worried about college, seeing as it’s one of the leading reasons for irreversible debts.
These ideals are what lead me to doing the dual-enrollment program offered at my school. I accomplished this by first talking to my guidance councilor. You see, it’s their job to know about the different programs, grants and scholarships available to prospective college students.
I had already been in cyber school and so the idea of going against the crowd wasn’t very new. She also knew that I wanted to save as much money as possible. Along with having kept good grades all through school she led me to this program.
Basically I am a high school senior at my public school still, and a college student at HACC. This means that I am getting high-school and college credits at the same time, and pulling ahead.
On the topic of tuition, my public school is paying about a third of my tuition costs this year, and I pay even less because I am a resident of this state. Also being a community college, the prices are already significantly lower than other schools. It’s a very cheap price for a good education. This semester was about 1,750 for four classes equaling 10 credits and including books.
Now, you don’t have to go to a community college to have a low education cost; although it helps. There are a lot of other scholarships available; for example ROTC.
ROTC is the Reserve Officer Training Corps. There are scholarships you can receive a scholarship if you agree to service in the army, navy, marines or air force after college.
There is also FASA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form is important to get in as soon as possible at the beginning of the year (January 1st). The U.S. Department of Education will then review your information and based on your cost of attendance (COA) and your expected family contribution (EFC) to determine how much financial aid you will receive.
On top of these options, it’s important to focus on your “ideal school’s” offers. There are quite a few colleges that offer very substantial scholarships. In fact scholarships are everywhere, whether it is because of a high ACT/SAT score, sports (yes, even cyber school students can get sports scholarships) or from a writing contest.
So I’ll stress this again. Go see your guidance counselor or a college representative. They show you all of the different options out there so that you won’t have to worry about money and debts after your degree.
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