Search for scholarships - You don’t have to wait until you’re a senior in high school to start your scholarship search.
Choose an affordable school - Paying for college will be exponentially easier if you choose a school that’s reasonably priced for you. If you opt for a four-year college, look for one that is generous with aid.
Use grants if you qualify -Colleges, states, and the federal government give out grants, which don't need to be repaid. Most are awarded based on your financial need, and determined by the income you reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. As long as you submit the FAFSA and renew it each year you’re enrolled in school, you’ll receive Pell money if you’re eligible for it.
Work-study jobs - These are part-time jobs on or nearby campus for eligible students, depending on their finances and the funding available at the school. You need to have submitted the FAFSA in order to qualify.
Work-study jobs pay students directly, at least once a month.
Apply for private scholarships - There are thousands of private scholarships out there from companies, nonprofits and community groups. Ask your high school guidance counselor or use a free online service like Scholarships.com or Niche that suggests scholarships you might be eligible for.
And lastly Take out federal loans if you have to
You don’t have to say yes to all the aid you’re offered — especially student loans. As a rule of thumb, aim for student loan payments that don’t exceed 10% of projected after-tax monthly income your first year out of school.
If you need to borrow to pay for college, take out federal student loans before private ones. Federal loans have benefits that private loans don’t, including access to income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness programs.
Hope this helps
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