Paying for college can feel like it never stops. When you’re in high school, you worry about getting there. And not only getting there but how will I work my way through school? What are my options? Not to mention, paying for college after you’ve finished. What are my options after graduation? How should I pay back loans?
In our previous post, we briefly discussed the importance of planning as it makes cash-flowing college while in AND after graduating significantly easier.
But, still, it’s a lot to think about and plan for. We’re here to help! Paying for college is most every student and parent’s biggest worry. But, the reality is with the right planning, preparation, and knowledge, paying for college isn’t so scary!
Paying for College When You’re Actually Still in College
We see a lot of resources out there talking about funding for the future and how to get students to school. We even see quite a bit of helpful information about paying loans back after graduation. What you don’t see a lot of is actually helping students figure out how to pay their way through college when they’re still in it. To be more specific, we’re talking about actually creating cash flow for more than just tuition or room and board.
Even if you have a full-ride scholarship to the school, you will still have other expenses that your parents or guardian may not be able to cover. You have to eat, buy basic toiletries, and occasionally go out and have some fun with friends. It’s college after all! So, what do the options look like? Here are just a few options you can consider:
Loans: Even though they have a bad stigma attached to them, loans aren’t always bad. In fact, there are some that are a great option in paying for college. Learn more about the right choice for you.
Work-study: This is a great option to earn money towards school expenses or other needs you might have. Work-study is essentially a built-in job at your university and can be a great option for many students who qualify.
Summer jobs: Working during the school year can be tough with a full slate of classes. Take advantage of the time off in the summer, find a solid summer job and save money for the next year.
This list is obviously not an exhaustive one – there are tons of ways to balance school and paying for college while you’re still in it from part-time jobs, to paid internships, and more.
Paying for College After Graduation
Once you’ve finished school, chances are you’re not actually finished paying for it. There are options though when it comes to paying off your school debt.
Loan consolidation: If you took out multiple loans over your college career, this might be a great option for you. This allows you to combine all of your loans into one, with one fixed interest rate to make paying it off simpler and easier.
Repaying loans: Wherever you get your loans from, whether that be a federal loan or private, will offer different repayment plans. They may even have an income-driven repayment plan where they will work with your current income and allow you to make payments based on what you’re able to do with your current employment. In fact, There are 10 repayment methods/options to choose from for almost all federal student loans. In total, there are actually as many as 189 different ways to pay off student loans…each with varying payments amounts and length of repayment.
Loan forgiveness: There is also the possibility that you could qualify for complete loan forgiveness based on your job or other circumstance. This would essentially wipe out your debt. Qualification depends on several factors…such as choosing an eligible repayment method, making payments on time, and other factors such as your employer.
Financial Aid Questions Answered
Have questions about financial aid, completing forms (FAFSA/CSS Profile) or the college process in general? You can sign up for a complimentary 1-1 session. Get answers to your most pressing questions, discuss your unique situation, and how to get every penny of free college money possible.
If you’d like to avoid the hassle altogether, schedule a complimentary consultation to learn more about having your financial aid forms prepared for you…sort of like a CPA does for your taxes.
Stay tuned for more great insights and advice as we unpack college financial aid and cash flow over the next several weeks.