Getting a good college education is essential to find work in most fields. Of course, then there’s the problem of paying for your education. 30 years ago, you might have been able to get a part-time job to pay for your tuition while you attended classes, but those days are long gone. It’s not unusual for students to graduate with over $100,000 in debt, but that actually doesn’t have to be the case if you can find the right school and the right grants.
That’s why we’ve put together a few of our top tips for finding the best school for you, getting the grants you need, and figuring out if you actually need to go to a physical campus or if you’d be better off with online classes.
Know Your Academic Goals
First, what are your goals? What field of study are you going to major in, and how far do you want to take your academic career? For example, if you are only planning on attaining a bachelor’s degree, you may not be as concerned about student loans and debt as you would be if you were planning to continue on with a post-graduate degree.
If you are planning to go to graduate school, you may want to consider a local college or university where you can get in-state tuition for your undergraduate degree. This will save you money, with or without grants, and then you can focus on a more prestigious graduate degree. This is an especially good option for those in fields where research and teaching assistantships are common for graduate students. These assistantships often pay for some or all of your graduate tuition, so you won’t have to worry as much about how much it will cost you to earn your next degree.
Look for Grants in Your Field
Next, depending on your financial standing (and your parents’ income), you may qualify for some federal financial aid. This will often come in the form of student loans that you’ll have to pay back, though. So it’s a good idea to search online for federal and private grants that may apply to you, such as the SMART (Science and Mathematics Access to Retain) Grant or the TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education) Grant.
Consider Online Schools
Online colleges and universities are still a fairly new phenomenon in the world of academia. However, they have come a long way in a very short time. In fact, there are now online schools that accept FAFSA loans and grants. Because they do not maintain physical campuses, these schools are able to provide the education you need with a much smaller price tag.
Plus, when you consider that you will not have to pay for room and board, transportation, or other fees associated with attending a physical university, online universities and colleges become even more attractive. And, if you qualify for a Pell grant or another type of private or federal grant, you can make your tuition even more affordable.
Your education should take you to the next level and help you achieve more in your career. You shouldn’t have to start your career with a massive amount of debt, though. With these tips, you can focus on finding the right program and the right school for you. Remember that there are numerous grants and scholarships available, and that not all students today gain their degrees at physical universities. An online school may be the right place for you to earn your first (or next) degree.