Step 4: Put Your Hands On Some Cash
If you think you can't afford college, think again. There is more than one way to pay for your degree!
Colleges expect you and your parents to pay what you can—but schools, state and federal governments, and private businesses and organizations are also all great sources to put your hands on some cash. Lot of different types of financial aid is available including grants, scholarships, work-study, student loans, and more. It's all about finding which type or combination of types will work best for your needs.
But, there's more you can do to bring down the cost of college! Check out the sections below to help you know how to pay in different ways!
Fill out the FAFSA
Many more students qualify for aid than you might think. Financial aid is awarded based on financial need or on merit such as academic achievement, athletics, or other talents- but you have to apply for aid to find out. The first step is to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is the most important step to getting grants, work-study and loans from the federal government to pay for college, and many state and college financial aid programs require a FAFSA as well. Recent changes to the FAFSA make applying earlier and easier too! Check out the "Figuring Out the FAFSA section to get started!
Find a Career Path
Figuring out what you do and don't want to do for a career before you graduate high school helps you make better choices that save you time and money later! The Individual Learning Plan (ILP) is a free online planning tool to help you connect your interests and skills to possible careers and find out what education you’ll need, how much money you’ll make, and what scholarships are available.
Summer jobs, internships and co-op programs are a great way to try a career in real life to see if you like it, earn money for college, and meet people that could help you get a job in the future. Start finding your path now in the Find the Right Fit section
Earn Good Grades
Students can earn scholarships for college by getting good grades or getting involved in your school or community.
A great program available to all Kentucky public high school students is the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES). You can start earning KEES money for college as early as ninth grade! Click here for more information about finding scholarships using your ILP, tracking your KEES money and more!
Get a Head Start on College Classes
Kentucky students can save money on tuition by earning college credit or advanced placement while still in high school. Classes are offered at a college campus, in high schools or online. Many programs are free or at a much lower cost than regular college tuition; Scholarships are available to help pay for class fees or exams for students who qualify. Visit the Get a Head Start on College Classes section to check out your options.
Start Saving Now
It's never too late to start saving money for college! The more you save now, the less you will need to borrow later. With Kentucky offers a variety of savings options to stash away cash for college including Kentucky's 529 college savings plan, where you can save just $25 a month and get tax benefits! Visit the Start Saving page for more information!