5 Financial Tips to Help Pay for College Expenses

College education plays a pivotal role in a person’s life. It not only broadens your career horizon, but also enriches your life with knowledge, connections, and life-changing experiences. Unfortunately, over the years college tuition has risen significantly, giving birth to new problems, such as a mountain of unpaid student loans and high school graduates choosing to pass on a college education. Luckily, there are a ton of ways in which you can slash costs of college.

Apply For a Grant

You can find grant programs offered by universities, states, and federal agencies. The great thing about grants, unlike other financial assistance programs, is that you don’t have to repay them. Most are offered to qualifying candidates who fill out the FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student id. If you are one of the chosen grant recipients, you’ll be notified through a financial aid award letter sent out by the college. In some cases, this letter arrives with your acceptance letter from the college you applied to.

 Work While Studying

Most colleges allow their students to enter a work and study program that allows them to work part-time and earn money in between their classes. Students are paid every other week for an average of 20 hours per week. Common work and study jobs you can choose from include being a librarian’s assistant, tour guide, cafeteria worker, and bus driver. These work-study programs can be a good addition to your resume when you graduate and apply for work. It shows employers that you are hard-working and dedicated.

Protect Yourself From More Costs

If you get hit with more costs while studying in college, this can send you in a state of panic and frustration. It can derail you from the routine you’ve built to achieve a work-study balance. Identify and prepare for all possible expenses that might surface, such as the cost of car insurance if you are planning on driving a car while in college. Study and compare the rates you pay for auto insurance and avoid hefty monthly premiums.  Other avoidable college expenses include nights out with friends and late return fees on the library books you borrow.

Apply For a Scholarship

Scholarships are awarded based on merit. Academic performance and extracurricular activities are taken into consideration. Like grants, however, scholarships also don’t need to be repaid. There are different types of scholarship including college scholarships and private scholarships. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are devoted by universities every year for undergraduate scholarships. Meanwhile, private scholarships are those you can secure from an outside source besides a college, such as companies, non-profit organizations, and unions. Keep in mind, however, that not all scholarships offer a full ride to college. Some only offer to pay a percentage of your 4-year tuition.

Secure a Loan

This should be your last resort, and should be approached with extreme caution and preparation. While student loans have gotten a bad reputation due to the billions of dollars worth of unpaid debt, this can be a good option if planned for meticulously. Borrow only the exact amount that you need. You need to figure out first how much is missing from your current college fund. Remember that you don’t have to accept the whole amount of the loan you’re being offered with. The greater loan amount you take out, the larger your accrued interest rate is over time.


Paying for college is a challenge in itself. It can make your time and experience in college harder than it has to be. Don’t let rising tuition fees deter you from getting a good education and the future opportunities attached to it. Use the five aforementioned financial tips to help fund your college expenses.





Brock Calderon is recent college graduate with a BA in communications and a minor in English. He is fresh in his writing career and apart from writing he enjoys eating at a new restaurant weekly and exercising to burn off all those excess calories from all those restaurants. If he isn’t writing, eating, or exercising he’s probably watching the most recent episode of whatever show is most popular at the time (Catching up on Game of Thrones right now). Originally from Sacramento California, Brock now resides in Culver City.