College tuition will probably continue to rise. That said there are very concrete strategies you can take to make college more affordable. Remember, every dollar you receive in scholarships is a dollar you won’t have to pay back later when you finish. Use some or all of these tips to reduce your costs. If you are considering out of state look carefully at whether schools offer in state rate as a scholarship...
I know you will be great and I am very excited about your journey!
I have used most of the strategies on this list and it has really paid off in terms of keeping debt low while investing in my future. You can adopt these ideas too!
1) Be sure to go to an accredited school. Visit in person if you can or meet with the local alumni to see if you are a good match. You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. See whether most students graduate on time and if you can get all your classes within four years.
2) Always ask if a school will waive the application fee. Understand tuition, expenses, and create a budget to compare schools and financial aid.
3) Consider junior college if money is a factor or combined 2 year and 4 year degrees. Junior colleges have super faculty with expertise in your area of study. Junior colleges are great places to start out. The advisors are excellent. You can potentially live at home and save or reduce your expenses.
4) Consider applying for scholarships and tell everyone you know about your plan to pursue a college degree. If your school participates in the Common Application (a multi-school application process for applications and scholarships), be sure to work with your school counselor or the junior college counselor to take advantage of great online tools. Check out this very good article for more ideas for scholarships and applications: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/03/us/teenager-college-acceptance-scholarships.html
5) Many employers will also sponsor your education if it is related to what the company does. This can help you defray expensive tuition. Check out the companies in your area to see if they have tuition reimbursement or cooperative education (where you work and go to school). You will need to manage your time but you will have a degree AND experience when you graduate.
6) Carefully check out scholarships with you guidance counselor or local college advisor. Georgia has some links below that might be helpful. Look these over with your parents or counselor to see if they are applicable to you: