No matter what side of the political divide you fall on, everyone agrees that there is a student debt crisis. Different politicians have a wide range of strategies for ways to fix it. However, it seems that for the foreseeable future, college fees will continue getting students into debt that they are unable to handle.
The last thing you want is to start your career in debt. You are going to need a good credit score to get home loans and car loans that don’t kill you with interest. And you don’t want to have to spend all your earnings on paying for college.
Nonetheless, when you are just starting out in college, it is incredibly difficult to navigate the world of student loans and alternative ways of paying. You still have no experience funding your own life.
To help you get going, here are 7 ways to fund your college studies.
1. Federal Student Loans
Federal student loans are loans provided by the government. These loans are popular because they offer relatively low interest rates and are deferred until you finish your course. There is also the option to get a subsidized federal student loan if you can prove you have particular financial needs. Subsidized loans defer interest accumulation until six months after you have finished your course.
Federal student loans are more geared towards helping students stay on track, and are less likely to punish you for missteps along the way.
2. Private Student Loans
Private student loans, on the other hand, come from private companies. They charge higher interest rates and are not subsidized. You are more at the mercy of these companies who are profit-centric. However, you also get more flexibility in the terms of the loan. You can start paying it back immediately, if you have income, which means you’ll pay less interest in the long run and will pay it off far sooner. On the other hand, you won’t benefit from the same loan forgiveness plans. Take a look at this SunTrust Student Loans review to find out about one of the popular options.
3. Apply For College Jobs
Most colleges have a range of jobs that they provide to students who want to work while studying. These may be simple admin or research jobs, library work, and campus management. If you’re a little bit older, you can become a resident assistant (RA) to help other students.
4. Find An Off-Campus Job
Many college students get entry-level jobs in order to help pay for tuition and textbooks. These jobs won’t cover anywhere near the complete value, but they will make a dent in it so that you don’t have to start from scratch when you graduate. They also provide you with some extra pocket money to use to live your best life while on campus.
5. Find Online Freelance Jobs
One of the most difficult parts of finding a job during college is that your time is limited. You cannot work particular shifts and you need to leave time available to study. You also don’t want to spend precious hours in traffic just getting to and from your job. For this reason, online freelance jobs may be perfect. Using sites like Upwork or Fiverr make it easy to get work writing, coding, or even as a virtual assistant. Pay ranges from incredibly low (unrealistic in the US but workable for people in poorer countries) to relatively high-paying. People looking for freelancers on these sites generally aren’t too concerned about qualifications or experience. As long as you can convince them you can do the job, they will hire you.
6. Start Blogging
Blogging is one of the most popular ways of making money online. If you have talent writing, and some good content ideas, you can start making money by using Google Adsense or getting sponsors. To be a blogger, you don’t need to have any sort of experience. With some good stories, you can speak to people interested in a subject or area of life. Alternatively, with some technical knowledge, you can provide useful tips and advice. Companies may even pay you commission for reviews that lead to sales on their websites.
The blogosphere has long been quite saturated, however, so you will need to get creative. The best strategy is to choose a lucrative but somewhat rare niche. This way, you get a captive audience of millions who don’t have too many other places to look for similar content.
7. Provide Online Lessons
Can you play guitar? Did you spend thousands of hours in school learning to play piano? Do you have coding skills you’re able to share? If so, consider giving online lessons. Working online is ideal for college students, as we’ve mentioned with freelancing and blogging. You get to make your own hours and don’t have to worry about traffic. These days, many people prefer getting practical lessons online, rather than in person. You can easily find students who want to learn to play an instrument or other practical skills, and they will pay good money if you provide good lessons.
College is incredibly expensive, and that’s probably not going to change anytime soon. However, there are ways of paying for it, with student loans and a variety of job opportunities.