5 ways to pay for college

Paying for college is quite the challenge for many families. With tuition creeping up every year, the earlier you can develop a plan and start saving, the better. Here are 5 ways you can pay for college for your child or yourself.

  1. Fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid)

Completing a FAFSA will help determine what type of financial aid you may qualify for depending on your household income and size. The application will not only grant students access to federal aid such as grants, but will also determine eligibility for federal subsidized and un-subsidized student loans and for work-study programs. Many schools also use the FAFSA to determine eligibility for their own financial aid awards. Go to https://fafsa.gov/ for more information.

  1. Start a 529 Savings Plan

If your child (or yourself) is attending college next year, this probably won’t be much help. For those with some more years to go, a 529 plan may be the key to saving for college. While most parents start this type of investment when their children are still little, you can open one at any time as any little bit you can save counts. The best thing about a 529 savings plan? The funds may be used tax free and you can contribute as much or as little as you want. For more details on this visit www.myfloridaprepaid.com/what-we-offer/529-savings-plan/

  1. Apply for Private Scholarships

There are hundreds of scholarships available for those willing to search and apply. There are scholarships based not only on academic achievements but also for athletic achievements, community service, minorities, women,…the list goes on and on. A great resource for those willing to invest the time to search and apply for scholarships is https://myscholly.com/ which will helps match students with the best scholarships and help them keep track of the application process.

  1. Attend Community College First

The average in state tuition for community college in Florida is about $6,233 according to www.communitycollegereview.com. The average in state tuition for a private college in Florida however is $15,011. Going to community college for the first two years can result in a savings of $17,556!

  1. Look for Jobs with Tuition Reimbursement

Many corporations; local, national, and international offer tuition reimbursement either for first time degree seeking students or for those looking into graduate courses. The most talked about is Starbuck’s “College Achievement Plan” which offers full tuition coverage to eligible part-time and full-time employees. You can read more about these benefits at www.starbucks.com/careers/college-plan