Whether you are at the beginning of your scholastic journey, or a new parent planning for the future, having an educational savings plan in place is vital to your budget.
What are the costs?
According to College Date, the average price tag for tuition and fees for the 2016-2017 school year runs $33,480 at a private college, $9,650 for state residents to attend a public college, and $24,930 for out-of-state residents to attend public universities. This amount doesn’t cover the costs for books, housing, transportation and meals, which can eat away at you college savings account rather quickly.
Add to that the fact that tuition can vary by the major you select. Students enrolled in the sciences, engineering, computing and the fine arts typically pay more per year than those following different educational paths.
Financial aid is available to those that qualify, along with a myriad of scholarships that can offset some of the excessive expenses. In fact, scholarships are the first line of assistance you should consider, leaving any remainder needed to other forms of financial aid or student loans.
The Krazy Coupon Lady published an extremely useful article titled “60 Unusual College Scholarships You Should Apply for in 2017”. They also suggest using a service called ScholarshipOwl to assist you in quickly finding those scholarships you qualify for in a short time. Just enter a little information about yourself, and let them do all of the work. Well, at least the work for finding which scholarships you are eligible for. An essay may be required on your part, along with actually filling out the application, but they can help with those things as well.
The membership fee is $20 per month, but it’s money well spent to help you navigate through the scholarship application maze. Even better, they are offering free introductory access to their site for a week. This may be enough time for you to find and accomplish what you’re looking for. Just make sure to cancel before the introductory period is up-
Michelle Kuehner is a Registered Investment Advisor Representative and Managing Director for Personal Money Planning. She is also a Certified Credit Counselor and Certified Financial Health Counselor, writes Fix Our Budget blog, and has over 24 years of experience in the financial industry.
Photo by Sira Anamwong. Published on 25 September 2015Stock photo - Image ID: 100363465