Image Credits: College Choice

I know Bernie Sanders is promising you free college, but nothing is truly free. Yes, college can be expensive, but I have six ways that can help you graduate with little to no debt and come out with a hard earned degree.

1. Community college

Two-year colleges are such a good option for those looking to save money. You will pay less for basic classes you would be taking at a university and the class times are more flexible. Also, if you still cannot afford a university after two years, you can get your associate degree and go out into the workforce to earn more money than you would without a degree. If, after being in the workforce, you still want to go back to college to get a bachelor degree, you will have more money saved up to afford it.

2. Scholarships

All universities offer scholarships based on athleticism and grades. Although some of the time these scholarships are hard to attain, there are also outside scholarships. For example, fastweb.com has so many scholarships linked on their website that are made for anyone. From art to videos to essays, fastweb has something for all types of personalities. If you did several of the scholarships offered, you could gain between $500 to over $10,000 which would definitely help you pay for your education. I would start applying for scholarships your junior year of high school if you want a head start on saving up. Here are some other good scholarship websites: scholarshippoints.com, scholarships.com, finaid.com, and scholarshipmonkey.com.

3. Working

Having a job before and during college can help take a significant amount of money out of your amount due to your university or college. If you manage your money right and put a decent amount of your paychecks into your savings, you could take the stress out of worrying about how you are going to pay. I started working as soon as I turned 16 and started saving up, and it really paid off. When you get to college, I recommend that you try to find a job on campus to make it easier to balance school and work.

4. Financial Aid

If you truly cannot afford college, usually FAFSA can help you out, but it can be pretty selective when it comes to who gets aid. For students who need financial help, you can qualify for grants, FAFSA, specific loans, and federal work study. Just make sure to fill out your FAFSA form before deadlines.

5. Taking AP or college-level courses in high school

If you are still in high school, there are already steps you can take to help lessen the burden of a huge college tuition bill. I recommend taking AP courses because you save a ton of money on basic classes. By taking AP History, English, Chemistry, etc., all you need to do is study for that $75 exam at the end of the year and obtain a score of 3 or better (depending on the college you want to attend) and you already have some college classes out of the way! Some high schools also offer dual enrollment with local colleges or universities, so you can take those courses for a discounted price and in a high school setting.

6. SAT and ACT scores

With good scores on these tests come more scholarship opportunities. For example, if you received a certain score on the ACT or SAT you can apply for honors programs at the college you want to attend and you can receive a cheaper tuition, or free tuition if you’re lucky.

 
Jamie Lynn
FFL Contributor
Living in the heart of Aggieland. Sassy republican, friends fanatic, and makeup obsessed. I'm enjoying my life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness while I drink a sweet tea.

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