Just applying to college adds up – and this is all before your student even sets foot on a college campus. No doubt about it, college is expensive. But will you let money stop you from getting your education? Most families I speak with say “no – sending our kid to college is a priority”.
But, understandably, there are a lot of demands on your time and budget and many parents are banking on scholarships to help pay for college. Of course, there are strategies that can boost your chances of getting a scholarship, but you have to know about them and you have to actually use them.
Ultimately, the truth of the matter is, the college bill will have to be paid whether or not you’re awarded a scholarship or other aid. And even if you get a scholarship, there will still be a portion of the bill that you will be responsible for paying – and many parents are often shocked at how much they still have to pay AFTER a scholarship has been awarded.
So, no matter what, you’ll need to find money for college – after all, it’s a priority, right? Here are some ways to find money for college even on an already tight budget:
Students’ savings – birthday money from grandma, bar/bat mitzvah, confirmation money, anytime your student receives money, put it into savings – after all, they’re the ones who are going to college, right?
Make coffee at home – if you go to Starbucks 3 times a week, over the course of the year that’s over $600.
Your grocery budget – when your student goes off to college, your bill will go down. If your bill drops $100 that’s $2,600 to $5,200 over a year. You can shift that money over to college expenses.
Eat at home more – many families eat out more than twice a week. Reducing it to once a week can save you $200-400 per month. Another $2,400 – $4,800.
All of these are wonderful ideas and ways to help save money that can be applied towards college. However, there are other ways to earn free money for your college education. Yes. You read correctly, earn “Free” money. Grants and scholarships are the leading resources available that help students to pay for their college education. It makes perfectly great sense to spend at least the sophomore and senior year researching the ones that you may qualify for in the long run.