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How do I get into a college that is too expensive for me?

I almost a high school senior and would like to get ahead of the college process.?

+25 Karma if successful
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To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Stephen !

Thanks for reaching out about this. It's wonderful that you are planning this in advance because you may have some opportunities yet to be discovered. It will take a lot of reading and I am happy to assist, advise and refer you to possible opportunities. I am happy that you are motivated and ready to start your search !

Your first step would be to name the college that you want to go to. I can see that the base concern of yours is expense, but it will depend on the exact college and since you didn't mention which college, I will try to help with general information and hopefully it will be accurate. But you know which college you want, so you can do the reading and make contact with them for further guidance.

I have left a link below for you with information about colleges in New York (a few in New York City) that may have special assistance for low income students. Your average person right now can't afford college, but there are ways. With a combination of Federal Financial Aid, Scholarships, Work Study and Grants, you could make it happen if you devote the time and focus on applying for the assistance. The link for the schools below has information about acceptance rates. So it's not only about who can afford to attend a college, it's also about how many applicants are accepted into a particular college. Also at the link, you can take virtual tours and the site also provides a way to compare the schools.

Once you explore the many scholarships and grants that exist, you may feel a bit more confident about actually making your dream college a reality. I will leave some links to scholarships that you can read now and save for when you are ready to apply before becoming a college student. When you apply for Federal Financial Aid, you can choose the options of a TAP Grant, Work Study, Loans and The New York State Educational Opportunity Program, and if you intend to work in the specific fields of work mentioned in the link below, you may possibly receive the New York State grants to pay back your loans.

I would say that the best thing that you could do now to alleviate any doubt about affordability would be go to the college in person and visit their financial aid office. Also visit their student services center and admissions office and inquire about their private scholarships that are only for that college's students. I always advise applying for a multitude of scholarships and grants because people do not receive the assistance just because they applied. Applying to many will increase your chances of receiving the award money, so go for it. Schedule days of the week and time slots in which you work on it. Even ask a friend or relative if they will assist you with scholarship and grant search. You will be surprised at the help that is out there, even for post graduate studies.

In my lifetime, I have worked with colleagues who have fought the odds of being financially disadvantaged and going to colleges like NYU and Harvard, so it can be done. Never give up. You will only wonder about it until you get out there and find the information directly from the college of choice and do as much scholarship and grant searches and apply for the ones you qualify for.

I want to encourage you to ask more questions specific to your needs and situation as we are always happy to help with college and career concerns !

Best wishes with your discoveries on how to make college life happen for you !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

NEW YORK COLLEGES - LOW INCOME STUDENTS https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges-for-low-income/s/new-york/
NEW YORK LOAN FORGIVENESS AWARDS FOR CERTAIN STUDENTS IN CERTAIN CAREERS https://www.hesc.ny.gov/pay-for-college/financial-aid/types-of-financial-aid.html#horizontalTab6
NEW YORK STATE SCHOLARSHIPS https://bold.org/scholarships/by-state/new-york-scholarships/
GET MATCHED TO SCHOLARSHIPS THAT FIT YOU https://www.scholarships.com/scholarship-search
NEED BASED SCHOLARSHIPS https://scholarships360.org/scholarships/need-based-scholarships/
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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi Stephen
One option to consider is applying for scholarships, which can help offset the cost of tuition and other expenses. Many community colleges offer scholarships to students based on various criteria such as academic achievement, financial need, or community involvement. It is important to research and apply for as many scholarships as possible to increase your chances of receiving financial assistance.

Additionally, community colleges are often more affordable than traditional four-year universities, making them a cost-effective option for many students. By attending a community college for the first two years of your education and then transferring to a four-year institution, you can save a significant amount of money on tuition.

Furthermore, some colleges and universities offer scholarships specifically for students with good grades. These scholarships can help offset the cost of tuition and other expenses, making it more affordable for students to pursue higher education. It is important to research and apply for these scholarships to take advantage of any financial assistance that may be available to you.

In conclusion, there are several ways to make college more affordable, including applying for scholarships, attending a community college, and seeking out scholarships for good grades. By exploring these options and taking advantage of any financial assistance that may be available, you can pursue your education without incurring a significant financial burden.

Thank you for your inquiry, and please feel free to reach out if you have any further questions.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Jennifer recommends the following next steps:

Talk to your guardian counselor about colleges and financial aid
Check out the website www.fastweb.com. this a scholarship website
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Martha’s Answer

Hi, Stephen. You have gotten excellent advice already, but I want to add a few points:
- You have already figured out that needing aid may be a disadvantage with some colleges. But other colleges (see list in link below) have "need blind admissions" which means that needing aid would not affect your chances of being admitted. A select few even guarantee a no-loan package.
- You might also want to look at "honors colleges", a term that varies from school to school. It often (but not always) includes merit scholarships, special housing, special programming and advising (see below for sample). It is a way to get academically-promising students to take a second look at an institution and may fit your needs.
Good luck!

Martha recommends the following next steps:

Need blind admissions info - https://blog.prepscholar.com/need-blind-colleges-list
Stony Brook Honors College - https://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/bulletin/current/policiesandregulations/scholarships_honors_awards/scholarships.php
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Avirup’s Answer

Best way to get into an expensive college is to show them you are worth it. The way you do this depends on you. What are your strengths? You need to capitalize on them. For example if I wanted to persure a tech related job, I would try to form a personal project portfolio, work on open source projects, attend hackathons and try to land an early internship. You need to participate in activities that put you ahead of the curve.
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Douglas’s Answer

Hello Stephen, just like many of us who have walked the path of higher education, you're standing at a crossroads similar to when choosing personal attire, a car, an apartment lease, or even buying a house. Each of these decisions comes with a plethora of options, each with its own price tag. The choice we make depends on what we can afford.

Now, you have a universe of over 3,000 colleges to choose from, including both private and public institutions. Rest assured, you'll find one that perfectly fits your personal preferences, such as affordability and location.

Remember, more than half of all college students receive financial assistance through various programs like student loans, academic scholarships, military scholarships, and student aid. Plus, choosing a public college within your state can be a great way to make your education more affordable.

Here's to your bright future, Stephen!
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Rafael’s Answer

Hi Stephen! If you're interested in a college that seems too expensive, don't worry! There are options to consider. For instance, look into scholarships and grants to help cover the costs. I recommend, to fill out the FAFSA to see if you qualify for financial aid. Take into consideration, work-study programs that can also provide a way to earn money while studying. Another option is starting at a community college and transferring later. Remember, there are alternative education options that can be more affordable too. Just make sure to weigh the costs against your long-term goals. Best of luck in your college process!

Rafael recommends the following next steps:

https://studentaid.gov/
https://www.usa.gov/fafsa
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