Authored by Heaven Stubblefield in College Education
Published on 08-27-2009
The cost of going to college can be daunting. The price of tuition always seems to be rising. Many people are considering going back to school to find a better paying career. There are many options available to get paid to go to school. Filling out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Aid) every year is the most important step. Not only is a FAFSA a free application for student aid, it also helps determine eligibility for government grants. There are also millions of scholarships available. Many jobs offer tuition reimbursement and some states offer unemployment to those who cut back work hours to go to school. Many states offer state funded financial aid on top of federal financial aid.
Grants: Grant money is different from student loans in that it does not have to be paid back. Grant money for school can be a few hundred dollars to thousands. Grant money can be used to pay college tuition, room and board, books, and other school expenses like lab fees. The most common grant is the Pell Grant. The Pell Grant provides grants to undergraduate students based on income. There are also merit based grants for students who major in critical need fields such as, math, science, technology, engineering and foreign language. The Academic Competitiveness Grant is for up to $1,300. There is also the Smart Grant for juniors and seniors. There are also grants available to students willing to study languages abroad. Many national organizations offer grant awards to students working towards their professions such as the Future Farmers of America and National Society of Accountants. Many states offer grants based on income needs or in exchange for working in the public sector of that state.
Scholarships: There are literally thousands of college scholarships available for students looking to attend college. There are a few great online resources filled with lists of college scholarships. Fastweb is an online college scholarship site that finds only scholarships fitting your criteria. The website will ask you questions that narrow down your search such as, the college you are attending, your major, state of residence, race, sex, age, and many other factors that help determine eligibility for college scholarships.
Tuition reimbursement: Many jobs offer college tuition reimbursement for some or all of your college cost. Many companies already have programs in place for college tuition reimbursement. You may be able to persuade the company you currently work for to create a college tuition reimbursement program. Most full time employers require you to study school courses related to work. Many full time employers also require that you stay with the company at least one year after college tuition is paid. Part time employers also offer college tuition reimbursement. Starbuck’s offers up to $1,000 college tuition assistance to qualified employees as well as Quiktrip, a convenience store chain, which offers up to $2,000 a year. Most part time employers offer this as a company benefit and have less-strict rules about course of study.
Get a job at a college or university. Most universities and colleges offer free classes for all offered degrees as long as the person is employed with the college or university. Many of these institutions offer free tuition to the children of employees after five years.