If you’re stressing about paying for college, you’re not alone. So many parents and students all over the country are racking their brain thinking of how to go about paying for college on top of everything else. Is it safe to say that only the rich can afford it? Of course not!  Getting a quality college education isn’t limited to those who have money, and even if you’re not financially well-off there will always be ways to pay for a college education.

There are several ways for anyone to afford their dreams by getting the education they deserve.

5 Ways to Pay for College

1.    Installment Schemes
Colleges and universities usually offer a convenient payment scheme, in which a student can attend class while he’s paying the tuition fee on installment (10-12 months).  First, you’ll have to ask for a quote. For instance, for a college degree that would cost $12,000.00 per year in courses, meals and living on campus, the student can pay $1,000.00 per month for a year. You have to admit that this is better than coming up with a lump sum payment upon enrollment.

After you determine the annual cost, the accountant can divide the sum by the number of monthly payments. You can pay at the college’s billing office before each installment due date. Payments must be settled within the school year, and the students cannot enter into another payment arrangement if they still owe the school a certain amount for the previous school year.

2.    Federal Loans

Students can apply for federal student loans. There are many requirements you need to meet before you can apply for federal loans. Get the information from the high school guidance counsellor’s office or the college of interest’s billing office. Applications for student loans are accepted each year and are generally required to be submitted at, or near, each new year.  In order to be considered, student’s must be willing to provide documents (annual family income etc.), to prove that they need financial assistance. One other thing to consider is that a loan application will take time to be assessed.

3.    Scholarships

Local businesses, schools and certain charitable organizations often provide scholarships to deserving students. If you excel at a particular subject, and you can convey your drive for further academic excellence to interviewers for scholarships, you have a better chance of getting into the college of your choice.
Scholarship grants are usually offered to high school seniors. There are several factors that need to be considered before approval. First of all, the student must show excellence in terms of grades and co-curricular activities.

4.    Pay-As-You-Go Options

Students who are not eligible to receive grants and scholarship may go for the pay as you go option. College courses can be paid for individually, which means the rates for each are calculated on a credit hour basis. This will allow students to enroll without becoming a full-time student, and they can pay only for the courses they want for one term. It’s a longer route to take, but it’s definitely cheaper than paying full tuition for several courses each term.

5.    Part-time Jobs

Part-time jobs are options for those who want to earn cash to pay for college. Doing business online on auction sites like ebay and yahoo can also help alleviate school fee worries. You will find a lot of success stories about students who have financed their college tuition through these means.