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Paying for college can be nerve wrecking. It is expensive and figuring out how much you can pay out of pocket and how much you need to get loaned to you is not easy. It takes time, patience, and a lot of research to figure out how you will be able to afford it- scholarships, student loans, savings, etc.
I scouted colleges around the United States. I was accepted at Boston University, Penn State, Arizona State, and many others. But what it all came down to was the cost of tuition–don’t forget room and board, books, living expenses, etc. I had no clue how I was ever going to afford a $50,000+ tuition per year not including other expenses. It was up to me to figure out how I was going to afford college on my own and without such a heavy financial strain. This is what I have learned and what I wish I would have known 3 years ago.
- Save $$$: You never know what expenses will be thrown at you when you least expect it. Have a plan, start saving. I use to save 50-75% of every monetary gift I received (birthdays, holidays, graduations). It adds up. Going into my freshmen year of college I had saved around $7,000! I wish I would have started saving sooner and maybe 75% every single time.
- Research: Browse different websites, go into your financial aid office, go talk to your bank. Get information on any tips for saving, budgeting, and affording secondary education. It can be hard to understand how big of a financial undertaking you will encounter with college. Did you know…
- 3 out of 4 undergraduates wish there was more helpful financial information available to them
- About half (47%) of college students are concerned about their financial situation despite the majority’s belief (85%) that a college degree will lead to better career opportunities
- Scholarships: I applied to over 50 scholarships my senior year of high school and you know what? They helped me pay for my first year of COLLEGE! I had to pay very little out of pocket. There are so many resources to assist in finding scholarships-locally and nationally!
- Loans: The dreaded word L-O-A-N. If you can absolutely avoid it, by all means be my guest, but without this I would have not been able to attend college. The first couple years of college, I got sucked into the idea that loans through my Financial Aid office were the best way to go, because it seemed so easy and all you had to do was accept the loan they offered. LOOK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX.
- University Financial Aid Office
- Your Bank
- This goes back to #2. Do your research. I did not have the patience at times to continue to research but I am glad I tried to stick with it even though it was time consuming.
- Here is a short cut for you – COLLEGE AVENUE STUDENT LOANS (click it, ya know you want to!)
College Avenue Student Loans has been a life-saver this past semester for me. I wish I would have stumbled upon it earlier in my college career. They have competitive rates, the most repayment options, and a customer-friendly process that makes each step from application through repayment a breeze.
Debt is scary. I am nervous that each day closer to graduation, means one day closer to having to deal with my debt. But DON’T WAIT. Pay it off now. Start making small payments. Talk to a financial advisor (College Avenue Student Loans has tons of advice and people wanting to help!). I am starting to make small payments each month at a very low interest rate so that I can be financially free soon after I graduate.
The wonderful people over at College Avenue Student Loans are teaming up with Chegg to give out a $5,000 scholarship + some other cool prizes! You can see more details here, so be sure to enter this contest on Instagram. (Plus, who doesn’t want to win $5,000). #collegegoals
What have you done to be financially stable in college?
Stayed tuned for some tips on how to SAVE while you are in college!
• This post is sponsored by College Ave. and Her Campus Media. As always all contents and opinions are honest & my own. Thanks so much for reading + supporting my sweet family •