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Non-Traditional Options to Help Pay for College Tuition

Pay for College Tuition

If you or your child’s about to embark on the college journey this year or next, congratulations!

It’s a reason to celebrate. At the same time, it can be a bittersweet time for many. College tuition and costs can add up. Unless you started saving a while ago to pay for college, you’re likely faced with less than what you need to cover the costs. In our last post, Unprepared for College Tuition, we shared how selecting the right school and applying for FAFSA are options to support a college career. In today’s post, we explore some non-traditional options that could help support those eye-opening college price tags.

1. Take a year off to save

There's no rule that says every 18-year-old has to graduate high school and then immediately enroll in college. In fact, in many other countries, the so-called "gap year" is quite common. Students use this time to work at part-time jobs, volunteer, and build their resumes. The difference between a 23-year-old college graduate and a 22-year-old college graduate is negligible. A student working and saving for a whole year could save as much as $10,000 for college. That's enough to defer the cost of tuition. Plus, building a resume could make it much easier to find work on the other side.

A College Card with Real-World Rewards

2. Start out at a community college

Community college may not be a first choice, but could be an attractive option when it comes to money. Most community colleges will offer significantly discounted tuition for students. These institutions offer the same general education courses for a fraction of the price. Also, the more flexible schedule a community college typically offers can make it easier to work a part-time job while going to school. Many start out at a community college and then transfer to a larger college or university; what matters more is the school one graduates from with their four-year degree. Generally, no employer or grad school will react badly to a couple years of community college, especially if you’ve received good grades and credits. Community colleges aren't free, but they're certainly not as expensive as a residential college.

3. Research grant options

There are a number of grants available to support individuals for a variety of reasons. Do some research to see if there are any organizations that might offer grants to an individual with your circumstances. People can quality for grants based on income level, heritage, ethnicity, and area of focus, for example.

Get creative and come up with your own list of resources that might be an option to help cover college tuition. Regardless, don’t give up on your college dream because of a lack of financial resources. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and people of all economic statuses and backgrounds go to college every year. Good luck!

Non-Traditional Options to Help Pay for College Tuition

If you or your child’s about to embark on the college journey this year or next, congratulations!

Author Bio


Since 1937, PrimeWay Federal Credit Union has been a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing superior financial services to members in the Houston area. We offer more personalized services than you'll traditionally find at more conventional financial institutions. Our hallmarks are low interest rate loans, higher dividends on deposits and excellent member services.

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