A Guest Blog by Tiffany Park of Bold.org
Going back to school amidst a pandemic has been a little different this year. We’ve all had to make considerable adjustments to our daily routines, and that’s included figuring out new ways of learning.
We’ve also had to adapt to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. Paying for higher education has become more and more of a challenge over recent years. But with current circumstances, students need more help than ever to pay for school.
That’s why we’ve gathered 5 simple, painless ways of saving for higher education without adding too much stress to your already heavy load.
Use your resources
A perfect starting point in saving money is spending less. Employ creative tactics like asking for student discounts, using the library and campus health resources, and attending events with free food. Eat in, use public transportation if you can, shop consignment, and purchase used textbooks (or just rent for the semester).
Institute a passive income stream
Passive income is a great way to supplement your current earnings. Sell an e-book or online course, start a blog, or invest in stocks (it’s easy with apps that let you invest with as little as $5). These strategies to make extra cash take minimal effort to maintain and can really help fill in any budget gaps you may have.
Share your expertise
You may be working a traditional job (if you have the time as a student), but sometimes that just doesn’t quite cut it. If you need to add to your income, try finding ways to share your skills and talents with others.
For example, if you’re particularly adept at a certain subject, offer tutoring services to your classmates. Or advertise assistance with writing, photography, editing, design, or customer service on a freelance website. You might also try your hand at teaching English abroad online. Whatever your interests or hobbies, see if you can find a way to monetize them.
Search for grant & scholarship awards
Obtaining grants and scholarships is one approach to funding college that is overly stated yet largely underutilized. Federal grant applications are often easily integrated into the process of completing the FAFSA. But there may be gift aid available from your state or local governments, as well. Be sure to survey all your options here, as gift aid requires no repayment.
Inquire at your prospective college, current high school, and community organizations about scholarship opportunities. Use your special interests and talents as a guideline in your search for scholarships. And don’t forget to apply for the awards with super easy applications – like these from WiseGeek and Bold.
Negotiate your financial aid package
After applying for financial aid and receiving acceptance to schools, don’t forget to appeal your award with the financial aid office. They need to be updated on any recent changes to your circumstances, as well as your acceptance (and better aid package offerings) from competing schools.
These bits of information will help the school know how to adjust their financial support to persuade you to attend their school. And you can appeal your award again every subsequent year of your enrollment. You might be missing out on helpful funds if you don’t complete this critical step.
Saving for higher education doesn’t have to be hard
Saving for higher education is a big deal. It can definitely get overwhelming (especially with the state of things right now). But with every new money-saving strategy you implement, you chip away at that stress and rediscover your enjoyment of learning.
EditingWorm has no financial relationship with Bold.org