Guidelines on how to pay for college

Many individuals dream of attending college and many students qualify for higher learning institutions.  The demand for higher education continues to escalate, so does the price. Unfortunately, few college students are comfortable and able when it comes to paying for a college education. The rate at which the cost of higher education is increasing is alarming. Following the statement of Ray Franke, a professor at the University of Massachusetts, higher education fees rise by six percent every year. Tuition fees for a four-year public institution rose to 110% between the year 1994 and 2014. The average price of university fees is $10,000 to $20,000 for every academic year. Since the cost of a university education continues to rise, students have to consider other forms of financial assistance. Below are a few guidelines on how to pay for college.


Fortunately, federal governments and colleges offer grants which do not need repayment like other student loans. The awards depend on how much income a student or the family earns. The best grant awards come from learning institutions. You can write a formal letter to the university and explain why you need financial aid for your college fees. The administration will inquire about your income or your parents’ earnings, and how much you can afford to pay for fees to determine the amount to fill in the gap. Often, the financial award letter arrives together with the acceptance letter or later.

Part-Time Jobs

An alternative to paying for college is securing part-time jobs. Working while in school may be challenging but making the right choice leads to a positive difference. There are numerous perfect part-time jobs for college students. You can be an assistant manager in a store, customer service personnel in a bookshop, a librarian, waitress, salesperson, cashier, and bartender, among others. Assuming that you have talents that can pay off, such as in art, music, and athletics, you can use the opportunity to get a reasonable amount of money for your fees. However, it is advisable that you select jobs with working hours that favor your school schedule. Apart from that, consider working in locations with proximity to your institution.


Scholarships are great foundations for supporting college students in pursuing their career. Like grants, you do not need to repay scholarships. Additionally, scholarships have more benefits than grants because they are not need-based. The can cater for your accommodation, relocation and travel expenses.

Moreover, most scholarships cover full tuition fees; thus, you can focus more on your academics and other minor expenses. Often, applications for scholarships begin in September and commence in November the year prior to admission. The major applications remain open until February or March. The application process is not as challenging as many perceive. Ensure that you use the right websites then follow all the instructions listed on the pages.

Nevertheless, note that millions of students across the globe are also struggling to get such opportunities. Hence, apply for as many scholarships as you can to have a better chance.  Alternatively, you can apply for scholarships for colleges around your home region as you are likely to get a fast and positive response.

Request for Financial Aid from Institution

All institutions offer college fees to learners who cannot afford their education. First, write a formal letter to the college, explaining why you are unable to afford your fees. Most likely, you will have to indicate how much you or your parents earn so that the institution meets your needs as required. You should write a letter to the institution early enough so that you can receive help as soon as you begin your classes. If you are lucky, you can also get financial aid for accommodation and other living costs. Besides, you can appeal for more support if the provided assistance does not meet all your needs or new circumstances during your education period compromise your financial situation.

Apply for Internships

Some organizations offer internships for undergraduates. You may be lucky to land one that pays reasonable money for an undergraduate university student. It is crucial to note that paid internships are hard to get. That said, you may have to visit your career center in your institution as the career experts will guide you on how to qualify for paid internships. Besides, the career experts have ideas concerning the organizations associated with your field that pay for internships. Also, it is possible to get help from friends and family who are aware of organizations that compensate interns.


Clotfelter, C. T., Hemelt, S. W., & Ladd, H. F. (2018). Multifaceted Aid for Low‐Income Students and College Outcomes: Evidence from North Carolina. Economic Inquiry, 56(1), 278-303.

Coker, C., & Glynn, J., (2017). Making College Affordable: Providing Low-Income Students with the Knowledge and Resources Needed to Pay for College. Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.




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