We all know that an education is valuable – but is worth it saving money to pay for college? Many Millennials these days are wondering if they’ll be able to pay for a high quality education without going into massive debt.
In America, students spend roughly $100,000 over the course of their degree. Most 18 year olds don’t have $100k lying around, so how can this possibly be done?
While it may be difficult, you absolutely can pay for college. In this article, we’ll go over tips for those preparing for college, people in college, and parents of soon to be college students.
Go to quality, inexpensive schools
There are some amazing schools out there, and thankfully not all of them cost $70k each year. When thinking about which school to attend, think of your education as a ROI (return on investment). You’ll spend money now to develop skills and acquire knowledge to be successful in the real world.
San Jose State University is one of the best schools out there when it comes to price and quality of education. In state residents pay less than $8,000, and out of state residents pay roughly $15,000 after financial aid. SJSU ranks top 10 in top public universities in the west as well.
San Jose State is a great university, but may not be the best fit for you. Another great option is CUNY Bernard M Baruch College in New York. This University offers a large amount of financial aid. In-state tuition is $6,930 before financial aid, but afterwards students pay roughly $3,000 each year. It ranks in the top 250 universities in the United States. Top 250 may not be ideal for some, but the quality of education given absolutely is worth how much you’ll pay after financial aid.
The last option we’ll dive into is Brigham Young University. BYU rated in the top 100 schools and considered one of the best options when obtaining a high quality and inexpensive education. The University is sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, as LDS students pay roughly $6,000 each year in tuition. Non LDS students pay roughly $8,000 each year in tuition. BYU ranks in the top 3 universities for advertising, animation, and accounting. BYU also offers many scholarships for any, making it easier to obtain a high quality and inexpensive education.
Make Money during school to pay for College
Once you’re actually in school, you want to look for ways to make cash on the side. If you have to pay for college, you’ll have to also pay to go out with friends, housing, or even groceries. Even if you don’t have to pay for all these expenses, it’s nice to have some income on the side.
There are multiple ways to making cash in college. You can be flipping burgers or scooping ice cream, nanny or babysit kids, or anything else. This totally works and may be the best option for you. However, when you think about it, is that really what you want to be doing long term?
When applying for jobs, think about where you want to be or see yourself in a few years. Maybe it’s business, medical care, or law. You don’t need to know exactly what you want to do, but having a general idea is important. Once you have general interests listed out, seek job opportunities that align with these. Take time to visit resume building activities, job opportunities aligned with your major, or talk with friends to see what they’re doing. It’s worth your time to learn certain skills for your future jobs. In my first internship, I learned plenty about marketing assets, event management, and data analysis. Each of these aligned with my interests, and I developed hard skills I could put on a resume. I still use those skills in my current position, making me a more marketable employee.
While finding jobs at business agencies or hospitals may be ideal, it may not be realistic in certain situations. Certain college towns are small and those jobs may already be taken. Thankfully, you can still find work to build your resume or get certifications to find work. The first option you’ll have is Google Adwords. Adwords have to do with Google searches. When you type certain words into the search bar, certain advertisements will pop up. This can be optimized for certain products or businesses. You can take a free online certification class from Google, then use that certification to find work. The great thing about this is you can work wherever you are – as long as you have decent internet connection. Once you have the certification, look up jobs on indeed.com or other job sites to find something that works well for you.
Jobs during school can help you pay for college, or prepare to pay for college. Odds are you don’t want to have to pay all the way through college, which is why we recommend you start saving beforehand.
Save to pay for college for yourself and children
The best advice we can give to young parents is to start a college fund for your child. This can be through a 529 at the bank, or other means. This makes life astronomically easier for both parents and children. Parents will know their kids will have the resources to obtain a higher education, and kids won’t have to worry about paying for college. Once a college fund is created, invest in it frequently. You don’t have to put in massive amounts, but always put something in so it can compound.
For high school students, the best time to start saving to pay for college is today. This can be done through saving from work, applying for scholarships, or investing. If I could go back in time and give advice to my high school self, I would tell myself 2 things. First – get a part time job that makes you think and develop skills. Second – take that money and throw it into bonds or stocks. If I had just put in $500 dollars then think about how much better off I would be now. Don’t make my same mistake – start preparing for the future financially.
College is one of the most fun times of your life – and it’s also one of the most important. The best time to prepare to pay for college is now, whether you’re in high school, college, or even a parent.