If a college education is your goal, but seems like it might be out of reach financially, you have to be aware of every opportunity that comes along to help pay for your schooling. Of course you want to look first at the traditional route with federal financial aid, state financial aid, institutional aid, and scholarships, but here are a few ideas that you might not have come across in your research:
1. Scholarships for Minority Students: While many scholarships look for academic or athletic achievements, sometimes it’s good just to be you. USA Today College recently listed four great scholarships for minority students including those for students pursuing legal studies, engineering or technical sciences, accounting, and journalism – all pretty good career paths once you graduate.
2. Unexpected Tuition Decreases: NASFAA reports that Ohio Northern University’s (ONU) published tuition prices will dip about 20 percent next year, from $36,470 for students in the College of Arts and Sciences to $27,500. “Tuition reset” policies have also been announced by several other institutions, including Converse College in South Carolina, Ashland University in Ohio, and Southern Virginia University. Check the net price calculator to see if this could be helpful for you.
3. Changing Scholarship Trends: Scholarship America posted an item in U.S. News & World Report about hot scholarship trends to look for in 2014. Based on changing demographics they advise students to be on the lookout for scholarships in specific majors, renewable and multiyear scholarships, and transfer and trade scholarships.
4. Loan Repayment Assistance Programs: Houghton College in New York is apparently the first college in the eastern U.S. to offer a program in which the college will pay back student loans until graduates meet certain income requirements. If a student earns $20,000 or less upon graduation, the Program will reimburse 100 percent of student loan payments until the loan is paid in full or the graduate earns a higher salary. The program will reimburse portions of loan payments for graduates who earn higher salaries, on a percentage-based scale up to $38,000.
Talk to Someone Who Keeps Up With All of the Trends
With everything else you are doing in high school, applying to colleges and studying for your SAT or ACT, think outside the box with the tips above when it comes to paying for college!