March 4, 2020 By College Ave Student Loans
6 Last-Minute Strategies to Pay for College
If your college classes are right around the corner and you still need help covering your tuition, don’t panic. There are options to help you take care of your college costs, but it’s important to take action as soon as possible.
Here are six last-minute ways to pay for college.
1. Fill Out Your FAFSA
The U.S. Department of Education reports that far too many college students don’t bother filling out FAFSA forms for a variety of reasons: they believe they won’t qualify, they feel the form is too time-consuming, and so on.
If you haven’t filled out the FAFSA already, you’ll want to make this your top priority. The deadline to file the FAFSA for each school year is June 30. However, there are state and college deadlines so you’ll want to contact your school’s financial aid office.
If you’ve already submitted a FAFSA but need more financial aid, you may want to consider appealing your decision. If your family’s financial situation has changed since your initial application, you could be eligible for additional aid.
Remember, it doesn’t cost anything to fill out the FAFSA, and you have nothing to lose; you may either receive some or all of the money you need to cover your college costs.
2. Find Last-Minute Scholarships
Similar to financial aid, scholarships also have strict deadlines in place and if you plan on applying, it’s ideal to prepare ahead of time to ensure all of your required materials are submitted before their deadlines. However, because scholarship applications can be time-consuming, many college students do miss these deadlines. But if you’re looking for last-minute strategies to pay for college and think you may be too late for scholarships, don’t throw in the towel just yet.
Cast a wider net in your scholarship search to ensure you’re finding all available options. Be sure to search for private scholarships, local organizations, as well as state and national scholarships. Your employer, or even your parents’ employers, might offer scholarships as well. Friends, family, and colleagues may also know about available scholarships in their area or at their place of employment, so be sure to ask around.
Bonus: At College Ave, we offer a $1,000 monthly scholarship. Enter for a chance to win money for school. A new winner is chosen each month, and the next winner could be you!
You can find scholarships at CareerOneStop, sponsored by U.S. Department of Labor. This scholarship search tool allows users to sort through scholarships by the deadline so that you can focus on scholarships with fast-approaching deadlines.
One of your top resources for scholarships, especially last-minute options, will usually be your school’s financial aid department. Be sure to ask about scholarship options that may be specifically available as last-minute ways to cover college costs. One example is unused or canceled institutional scholarships; these are scholarships that are designed to cover college costs for a designated school. If a student was awarded this type of scholarship and then decides to go to another school, then this money might potentially be available to another student.
3. Ask about Payment Plans
Some schools offer tuition payment plans, so if you’re looking for last-minute ways to pay for college, this may be the perfect solution for you. You’ll not only want to find out if your school offers these types of plans, but what the repayment terms are, plus any associated fees and/or interest charges.
4. Take on a Part-Time Job
Explore different work options that might fit into your schedule and give you the chance to make some extra money to help cover any last-minute college expenses. While a full-time position may be too much to take on while you’re enrolled in school, a part-time job can be the perfect opportunity to not only make some extra cash but also get some on-the-job experience.
Although a typical part-time position is roughly about 20 hours a week, there are also other flexible options if that type of schedule is still too demanding. You can explore the idea of freelancing, or even working as an independent contractor with an array of different companies; for example, you can take on extra work as an Uber driver and/or an Instacart shopper.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, Monster.com published a list of ideas for part-time jobs that are perfect for college students.
5. Ask Loved Ones for Help
It may be difficult to do but asking friends or family for help if you’re truly in a jam isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you’ve exhausted all other options. Asking someone you know personally for financial help can always be somewhat tricky—even if it’s family—but agreeing on a repayment plan (or a hard deadline for a one-time repayment in full) can help to make everyone involved feel more comfortable.
6. Consider a Private Student Loan
If you’re short on time and need to pay for college quickly, it can be difficult to guarantee you’ll get the amount you need within the timeframe that you need it. If you’re looking for a way to take care of your college expenses, a private student loan may be an option. With private student loans, you’ll have the flexibility to get the money you need when you need it the most.
At College Ave Student Loans, we offer many private student loan options to meet your financial needs. Our student loan application takes 3 minutes to complete, and you’ll get an instant credit decision so you can pay for school without the worry.
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