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5 Last-Minute Ways to Pay for College

5 Last-Minute Ways to Pay for College

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Find ways to pay for college

Raising money at the last minute to pay for college does not have to be impossible. With so many necessities to pay for, paying for college can be a daunting task.  Paying for college tuition is only the beginning. There are fees, campus housing, textbooks and lots of tiny other things for school that can really add up.  There are lots of ways to raise money for college, but most importantly, remember it’s okay to ask for help. You never know if other students had to back out leaving extra financial aid available to you. All you have to do is apply.

Apply for Federal Student Aid

Students who complete the FAFSA may qualify for various types of grants, scholarships and loans. The new form opens up each year in October, and it is best to fill out the form then. However, students may submit the application anytime before the deadline. The deadline for filing to get aid in 2020-2021 is June 30, 2021. If you wait too long, less scholarship money will be available, but most students are eligible for at least some type of financial aid. 

Apply and appeal for Financial Aid

If you didn’t qualify for or receive enough from FAFSA, it may be because it is based on your family’s tax returns from two years prior and is now out of date. Families may be unable to pay what the college’s financial aid office has deemed doable. You can submit an appeal to the financial aid office. This is especially true if your family has experienced a recent financial hardship. Be ready to provide documentation as to what is affecting your family’s ability to pay, such as medical bills or a parent being laid off.

Apply for scholarships

Many college finance experts recommend students should apply for scholarships year-round. Although most scholarship deadlines are in March or April, there are some scholarships with deadlines in July and August. Example, the Jared Jeffery Davis Scholarship, a $1,000 scholarship created by an investor that is accepting applications until August 1.

Apply for a job with flexibility

According to The American Association of University Professors, nearly 80% of students work while in college.

The best option would be to look for an on-campus job, because they would be the most flexible with class schedules. There are countless opportunities for jobs in the cafeteria, library, groundskeeping, student housing, etc. 

Another option would be food delivery, like GrubHub, or rideshares like Uber or Lyft. This type of work lets you work when you can and is in high demand in college towns. Get paid to be the designated driver!

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Apply for a student loan

If your degree plan is too taxing for a job and your family is unable to help even though FAFSA thinks they should, you have another option. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, but eligibility is not based on financial need. 

You don’t want to be swimming in debt after graduation, so be very thoughtful before applying for student loans.

Apply yourself

  1. Apply for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  2. Apply and appeal for Financial Aid
  3. Apply for scholarships
  4. Apply for a job with flexibility
  5. Apply for a student loan

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