It probably goes without saying that college isn’t cheap. But I guess I just said it anyway.
The good news is that you have all kinds of options when it comes to paying for school—and none of them include student loans!
Don’t believe me? Here are five sources of college funding—other than student loans—you should consider:
1. College-Specific Aid: Since many colleges withhold specific scholarships from being published, it’s up to you to seek them out from each financial aid office. Every college will award a different amount, so make sure you know what to expect from the school you choose to attend. You should immediately contact each college on your list to start pursuing any and all scholarships you might be eligible for.
Related: It’s Not Too Late for Scholarships
2. Federal Aid: The good news about federal aid is that it accounts for the largest amount of aid available. The bad news is that federal aid is largely based on financial need. So if your family’s income is above the maximum income for eligibility, don’t be discouraged. You can take advantage of several other sources of aid.
3. State Aid: This is based on a combination of financial need and achievements. From now until you head to college, you should work on your grades, test scores and extracurricular achievements to increase your eligibility for these scholarships
4. Military Aid: If you or an immediate family member have served or plan to serve in the military, then look into military aid. This is a great way to serve your country and get your college paid for!
5. Personal Funding: Let’s not forget about another source of college funding: you! This could include savings, gift money, work income or contributions from your parents. More than any other type of aid, this source of funding is 100% in your control.
Regardless of where you are right now, you can always increase your ability to fund the school that’s the best fit for you. Don’t buy into the myth that loans are your only option.