Late spring is the season when high school seniors are down to the wire on making a final decision as to which college they will attend. For some, the choice is easy; they have a favored college with a great financial aid package. All they have to do is sign on the dotted line and they’re on the way.
For others, college might seem out of reach due to financial reasons. They might be eager to attend a certain college, but money is a problem. Fortunately, there are things you can do to get closer to your goal of attending your dream college.
10 Ways to Find More Money for College
- Ask: If you are short by just a few thousand dollars, it never hurts to ask. By the end of the school year, admission offices know who has accepted financial aid offers and how full their class will be. They might be able to find enough money to get you in.
- File: One big reason students fall short is that they don’t file the FAFSA. Some families don’t submit this crucial form for any number of reasons. You may not qualify for financial aid if you do, file but you definitely will not qualify for financial aid if you don’t file.
- Provide an update: If you did submit a FAFSA, but your financial situation has changed dramatically since then, contact the college and explain what happened. Be prepared to offer substantial documentation to support your claim.
- Get a scholarship: Perhaps you slacked off on the scholarship search while doing everything else, but it is time to pick up again on that quest. Scholarships are available year-round for a wide variety of interests and abilities. There might be one that is just right for you.
- Carefully consider student loans: It can be dangerous to use student loans to fund an entire education, but, if the amount is small, it might be worth borrowing some money to bridge the gap. Only borrow what you need to pay for education expenses and always use federal student loans before moving on to private student loans. Make sure you completely understand your rights and responsibilities before taking on any student loans.
- Earn some money: There is plenty of time between finishing the application process and beginning the new school year. It might mean sacrificing a little summer fun, but find a job where you can work a good number of hours over the summer. Use that money to cover some of your out-of-pocket expenses.
- Borrow at better rates: Perhaps you can talk to some of your relatives about borrowing money at favorable interest rates. They’ll be helping you over a financial bump and might even be willing to forgive your debt upon graduation. Just make sure to put everything in writing and live up to your commitments.
- Sell something: You’d be surprised at the amount of money you have lying around in the stuff you’re not using. Hold a garage sale, list your unused items on eBay, or try selling at a flea market to raise extra cash. If you’re artistic or creative, you can make something that can be sold at craft shows or online.
- Work as a car service driver: If you have a car and are a responsible driver with proper insurance, you might want to sign up with one of the ride-hailing companies once you get on campus. There are plenty of students without cars who will gladly pay you to take them around.
- Open a bank account: Take some of that money and save it. Compare offers from local banks, as some of them may offer incentives to attract new customers and students. Look for a low-fee account that has a cash bonus for new customers. You can also put your money in a high-interest savings or checking account where it can earn money.