Are you excited about the prospect of going to a technical trade school?
Do you often think about all that you’ll learn and what kind of career you can enjoy once you graduate?
While there is definitely a lot to look forward to, there’s also a major factor you need to consider long before you can begin class: money.
Do you have a plan for how to pay for school?
How to Pay for School: 6 Simple Options for Securing the Funds You Need
There are many benefits to attending a technical trade school. One of the best is that, despite the fact that you are learning a valuable trade, this type of college tends to be very affordable.
Nonetheless, it’s still a monetary investment that many people need help making. Fortunately, the following will show you how to pay for school through six incredibly simple methods.
1. Take Out Student Loans
The option most people know about when it comes to figuring out how to pay for school is student loans. In short, you borrow money that’s allocated specifically to pay for expenses related to your education.
Generally, federal loans are considered best. You don’t have to begin paying them off until after graduation for one thing. They also tend to feature better rates because they’re subsidized and backed up by the federal government.
That said, it’s still worth considering private lenders for your education.
Many students also rely on a combination of both. Although trade school is quite affordable, if your federal loan doesn’t cover the entire cost, you may want to think about taking out a private loan, as well.
While student loans are an extremely popular option, you should still proceed with caution.
Take your time so you find the best possible loan based on your needs. If you choose the wrong loan – especially the wrong private loan – you might eventually find it’s overwhelming to make your payments on time.
2. Apply for College Scholarships
Of course, many people who need help with how to pay for school will rely on another very popular option: scholarships.
This type of financial aid is awarded to people based on criteria like grades or other academic accomplishments. However, many trade organizations offer scholarships, too. These are based on the industry the student is hoping to enter.
For example, there are a number of scholarships exclusively for cosmetology students. So if you already know what field you want to work in, start researching the types of scholarships you may be eligible for.
3. Apply for College Grants
Grants are similar to scholarships, except that they are typically awarded to students based on their financial needs.
Better still, just like scholarships, there is no requirement that you ever pay back the money.
4. Enter a Federal Work-Study Program
Far too many people don’t know about federal work study programs despite how helpful they can be. These programs connect students who have financial needs with part-time jobs they can work while attending school.
Aside from the obvious benefit – the money – this program will also add experience to your resume. Often times, the work you do will be related to the industry you’re studying in, which makes this type of program even more valuable.
4. Apply for a FAFSA
While FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is technically a type of financial aid, it stands out for a very important reason.
That’s because you need to start with applying for FAFSA first. This assessment will determine what kinds of federal funds you’re eligible to receive in terms of loans, scholarships, grants, and work-study programs.
In other words, until you fill one out, you can’t receive federal funding for school. You also won’t know how much you could receive before proceeding with a private loan, so there’s no good reason not to complete one.
However, there are very strict deadlines for FAFSAs, so be sure you complete yours in time or you could be without the help of a very valuable student loan for another year. Fortunately, submitting your FAFSA application is completely free, so nothing is stopping you from getting started right away.
5. Consider Rethinking Your Budget
While all of the options we’ve covered so far are certainly helpful, you may also be able to contribute a significant amount of money toward your education out of pocket.
Unless you’re able to fund all of your schooling through scholarships and grants, paying for some of it yourself will help keep your student loan payments to a much more reasonable amount.
If you’re like most people, you could definitely cut some expenditures from your monthly budget and put that money toward college.
Look over your monthly spending for the past six months or so and chances are that you’ll find these types of opportunities.
For example, do you regularly buy clothes you don’t actually need?
Do you have a gym membership you don’t use? Those costs can really add up, so even if you do go to your gym every now and then, consider how you could get a decent workout at home or the local park and cut that expense.
Everyone’s different, but most of us spend more than we need to every month. That’s money you could be using to invest in your future.
6. Work a Job on the Side
Another way you can directly fund your education is by taking a job on the side. If you don’t qualify for the federal work-study program and your schedule won’t accommodate a traditional occupation, consider side jobs like driving for Uber or Lyft.
There are plenty of other jobs you can work in your free time, too, all of which will help you make money you can put toward school.
Need Help Figuring Out How to Pay for School?
Even with all the information above about how to pay for school, we know that this process can still feel a bit overwhelming at times.
At IntelliTec College, we would be happy to help you make sense of all your options. Just contact our financial services department today and we’ll walk you through each of them and help you make the best decision for funding your education.