2 years ago
Paying for College

Paying for college outside of FAFSA

How should I pay for college outside of any money FAFSA can get me and supposed scholarships without being put into crippling debt? (I'm planning on being a lawyer and am participating in a program where I can get my AA during high school and paid for by the state, I just need to know how to pay for the rest of the 5 years of school without loan servicing companies taking advantage of me)

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

Hi @Halal_queen!

I would focus most of your efforts on getting need-based financial aid or school-based scholarships. Getting into a school like Rice or Brown could potentially cut your expected contribution down to zero, while other colleges like UVA or Notre Dame offer full-ride scholarships for high-achieving students. You can get an idea of how much aid you qualify for at each school by using our Financial Aid Calculator here: https://www.collegevine.com/financial-aid-calculator

Beyond that though, your options limited. We generally don't recommend trying to accumulate tons of small-scale scholarships. Their applications can be pretty intensive, and that time would usually be better spent applying to full-ride scholarships or schools with generous financial aid. (CollegeVine's weekly scholarship is an exception; it doesn't require more than making a free account.) Questbridge can be a great option and offers full-ride scholarships, but it's about as selective as schools like Rice or Brown.

The last thing I could recommend, then, would be looking into loan forgiveness programs, like PSLF. Being employed in a government position or non-profit for ten years can qualify you to have the remainder of your federal student loans waived.

For more info on schools that offer free tuition in some form, check out this blog: https://blog.collegevine.com/colleges-with-free-tuition-for-low-income-students/

Otherwise, let me know if you have any questions!

2 years ago

Applying for as many scholarships as possible is a good way to start! If you are able, I'd also suggest getting a job that pays enough for you to support part of your cost. If you're of a minority, I'd suggest looking for scholarships specific for that as well! If your school offers you work study and you are capable of working during the school year, take that opportunity!

Paying for college is terrifying and difficult but if you play your cards right it should work out. You can also attend a cheaper college for undergrad if you need to, especially ones that might have big tuition assistance programs.

Working in college requires a lot of time and time management skills - if you can manage it, I think it's a good way to offset your costs. Good luck!

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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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