How do you pay for college, and do it without the usual troubles? Why does college cost so much? Where do I get money to pay for college? Is there a way to ease the financial burden on me because of my education? And many more. Today, we want to look at some of the very effective ways you can pay for college without the usual struggles and disappointments.
Fifteen years ago, in college, I faced a lot of challenges because I had to pay for college. But education costs so much in the US. Through these challenging experiences, I gathered some very precious wisdom I want to share with you in order to make your life easier as a college student. Ultimately, these lessons are going to help you avoid the usual hustle that comes with how to pay for college. So, if you want a relative of yours to study in America, or if you’re a student and you are looking for ways to pay your fees, this is the ultimate advice.
These are some of the sure ways to pay for college or reduce how much your college education costs.
What are some of the usual ways people use to pay their fees?
Pay for College with help from family
Usually, there is the case of those who come from rich families who get all the support they need from home. But more often, there are those whose family are not so well to do but will manage to send something expecting you to do the rest. This should not be a bother if that’s your situation. Let your parents do what they can. These next nine secrets I will share with you can lead you to self-reliance and a struggle free college education.
Firstly, I will encourage you to keep faith in God. He has a good plan for you. Remember, he says, “You will be above and not beneath.” I can assure you that if you can trust God enough, He will lead you through.
Scholarships: the number one usual way to pay for College
Educational scholarships are some very important ways of getting your financial needs sorted out. So, let us look at some of the scholarships you can apply for:
There are some very good internal scholarships to take advantage of. However, these are merit-based or need-based and intended to encourage very good students. Here’s something you should know: Do not think that the initial scholarship earnings are going to increase as it usually does not.
So, the question is, how do I benefit from these scholarships?
Be sure to do well in the standardized exams.
It is very important to apply yourself to study. Sad to say, exams from most of the developing countries are fraught with cheating and as a result, this often does not become a good basis for judging academic competence. In these standardized exams like SAT, GRE and the others, you rarely get an opportunity to cheat and that should be a good indicator that if you fail to study in preparation, you will likely fail. Be very careful not to fall for those usual statements like, “education in America is easy.” Let me say this to you from my experiences over the years, “It is not easy at all”. So, study it well so that you can get a good scholarship as you enter college.
Write a good essay as required.
Most importantly, you will need to write a very good essay if you want to get good scholarships. After writing, be sure to let about three people read through it to help make sure your essay is good enough and to help catch any errors you may have missed. What you should know about these scholarships, however, is that what you get usually doesn’t change over your 4 year college career so don’t think otherwise. To sum it up, these points are usually the make or break issues regarding your internal scholarships.
Another great way to pay for college is through External Scholarships. The thing about these scholarships is that people think there’re a lot of people applying for them because they are external or public but that is not always the case. Go ahead and apply for them. It is very likely that you will have to write an essay in order to get them. one important lesson is that you do not have to go straight for the huge sums because you may not get them that easily. You could start with the least amounts and build your confidence toward applying for the big scholarships.
Here’s the catch with these kinds of scholarships. Often, it happens that you do not hear from them after writing to them. So, have it at the back of your mind that this is only normal. The trick would be to write to as many as you can. You can try at least, 10 of them, and you will more than likely get a response from one of them.
Below are some external scholarship links to get you started:
An often overlooked but very important scholarship you can take advantage of are athletic scholarships.
Interestingly, this is one of the most overlooked ways to raise money to pay for college. Let me let you in on this secret, you don’t need to necessarily be a professional footballer or athlete before you can apply.
I remember I had friend back in the day who sat by me in class. This friend was not a player with the school team, nor was he a member of any soccer club. But he came to America to school on a soccer scholarship. He had all his fees paid through this scholarship. So, if you have any kind of sporting ability, take advantage of that. This mostly applies to those who can play soccer.
Budgeting: A Good Way to Pay for College.
It is very important to know that if you spend your money frivolously you will not be sound financially. Moreover, you should not be buying things and behaving anyhow as if you are an American citizen with all the rights and privileges. Also, you need to ask yourself some very important questions when it comes to budgeting.
How much can I save if i want to be able to pay for college?
Find opportunities to save. Cut off some unnecessary spending. Calculate how much you can save and pay it at your school as soon as possible before you find another use for the money. Also, do well to find out if you can pay in installments. That can help to take off the pressure of thinking about paying everything in bulk.
Do I need a car? Or can I figure my way out with public transport?
Cars come with other bills. You will have to buy fuel, and pay for maintenance. Do not forget insurance too. These are at least three of the things that you have to think about. Will you have enough to take care of yourself and the car? We have not even mentioned how much you need to buy one. You can use public transport services instead of buying a car so that you can cut cost and save more money.
Do I need my own apartment? How does it help me pay for college?
Always find out whether you can share rooms with a roommate. There are good people you can share rooms with. But you will probably come across some unbearable roommates. In a case like this, always think of the greater good. Maybe, it’s an opportunity to develop some patience as a quality.
Occasionally, some of the scholarships cater for your rent but it’s not so in most cases. Do your possible best to spend below $500 on rent.
Can I eat on campus if I want to be able to pay for college?
Take advantage of the free food on campus as much as possible so you can save.
Never take your tithing for granted. Always do well to tithe. Don’t do budgeting with your tithe. This is what will protect the rest of all that you want to do. One of the best practices you can do is to take your tithe first out of your income before thinking about other expenses.
What about getting Loans to pay for college?
Notably, taking a loan is another way people use to deal with their financial challenges. But let me give you some sound advice on taking loans to pay your college fees. It is not worth it if it is for your undergraduate education. As much as possible, stay away from loans. The only situation that it may be okay to pick up a loan is when it is for med school. But as much as possible, stay away from loans.
Secondly, It may seem so nice and easy getting a loan but if you’re not careful, you’ll be saddled with a lot of debt that may take you a long time to pay after college. Remember, you’ll need a co-signer to act as a guarantor who will be the one to be called on to pay if you fail to meet the loan obligation. However, there are many people who co-signed loans and have regretted. So, it may be very difficult getting someone to help in that regard.
Develop a Skill
We have a lot of things we do in Ghana that you can use to make money. It could be so with you from whatever country you are in outside of America.
What are some of the skills you can learn and develop?
Learning how to braid hair is a good way to go. It will surprise you how many people would like to patronize it. You can charge around $100 per lady per 5 hours.
Learn to cut hair as a barber.
Get a barber to teach you some nice skills to use. People charge around $25 for a haircut. It doesn’t take so long to cut hair. Haircuts usually take between 25-30 minutes and you’re done. This is also a very good way to raise some money for college.
Take advantage of Social Media
Use social media like Facebook and Instagram to get customers. Learn about 7-10 new hairstyles, Look for someone’s hair to braid and take some beautiful pictures for social media and see how you can easily get people to patronize your services. Firstly, you don’t need many people. All you need is about 10 clients. Imagine charging about 5-10 people $100 each a month. That’s between $500-$1,000. This will go a long way to help you pay for college. If you’re a barber, you can use the same approach to get clients.
This is how I personally paid most of my college bills. I was making around $15,000 a year from internships. This is something I never took for granted. However, you may not earn like i did. But always go for the internships.
Go for paid internships
There are summer paid internships you can go for. Take these internships seriously. Always make sure you go for the paid ones. And make sure to save your earnings.
Prepare a really good resumé. I have discussed how to prepare a really good resumé in this article.
Watch previous videos under the school section to know more about how to take advantage of these opportunities that help you to pay for college and also to do well.
You must not believe the myth that taking a job on campus can help you to pay your fees. This is not entirely true. Those jobs don’t pay much. What it can do for you, however, is to help with bills like rent, phone bills, clothing, etc. You can start with taking any job in the beginning but do not get stuck there. Aim to get the high paying ones if you want to earn more in order to pay your fees. Go for the tutoring jobs because they pay more.
Under table working
Many restaurants will pay you some cash to work for them. The challenge is that it is sometimes difficult to find such restaurants but do not let that discourage you. You could find out from friends.
You can also rent a 2 bedroom and use 1 room for Airbnb to make extra cash on the side or you can get a car and do Doordash or Ubereats or Uber to generate some money to pay for college.
Do not give up! Don’t be soft! You need to be hard! Whatever money you are looking for to pay your college fees is right there with you in your school. Your school has enough scholarships for you. Never believe it if someone says there are not enough scholarships. You have to be the anagkazo type of person. You don’t have to be too nice or a pushover. Whatever happens keep going until something gives. Timidity will not help your cause. When you meet someone who says there’s no money, push until you get access to the person who has access to the money.
Being an international student can come with a lot of challenges. If you are struggling to pay for college, these 4 steps can be of great help:
- Learn a skill. Devote at least a month to learn about seven different types of hairstyles if you’re going to learn to braid.
- Work on internships. Summer can prepare you to be okay with some money to pay for college during fall and spring.
- Have grit. Keep on going. With every “NO” said, somebody with much authority can say “YES.” So, do not stop at the “NO”. Only stop when you get your yes. You need money to pay your college fees and you don’t stop until you get it.
- Budget. Pay attention to your expenses. Do not spend money you don’t have and learn to share cost with friends.
- Go for the undertable jobs. They are a good source of income.
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