Preparing financially for a college education begins long before you become a student.
One way to provide for a college education is through your own work. It is recommended
that you work and save money to pay for as much of your tuition and other expenses
as you can. When possible, you should work during high school to save money. This
will help you prepare financially for future college expenses.
There are many opportunities to work part-time as a college student. Working and
saving money will reduce the need to rely upon financial aid, and it will help you
minimize or avoid debt that you may accrue through student loans. Saving personal
funds to pay for a college education invites feelings of accomplishment, appreciation,
satisfaction, and value. Work teaches sacrifice and important life skills that will
bless you throughout your life.
Strong academic preparation will benefit you in two ways. First, you will be better
prepared to succeed academically at the college level. Second, you will be eligible
to receive various scholarship awards. Many academic scholarship awards are based
upon a high grade point average along with ACT/SAT scores. Students are strongly
encouraged to apply for scholarships as a way to help pay for college.
Apply for scholarships
Research all options for scholarships. You may find scholarships through your high
school counseling office, on the internet, through your parents’ work, in the community
or state, or at the college you will be attending. Scholarships within the Church
Educational System are typically awarded to students who have demonstrated outstanding
achievements in academics, leadership, service, talent, or majors. Scholarship funds
represent an investment in students’ education and are given to enhance students’
spiritual, intellectual, and physical growth.
A great resource for finding non institutional scholarships is the FastWeb Scholarship
Search engine online. This website is the largest, most accurate and most frequently
updated scholarship database.
Lastly, you can simply search for scholarships on your favorite web search engine.
Keep in mind though, that there are lots of scams out there. Most scholarships search
engines should be free. If the scholarship sounds too good to be true, it usually
Apply for federal aid
Federal financial aid is another option to help pay for college expenses. To apply
for federal financial aid, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
(FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov
. Apply as early as possible to ensure aid
will be available when school starts. By filling out the FAFSA you are automatically
considered for various types of aid. One of the most common types of aid is a Federal
Pell Grant. A Federal Pell Grant is awarded to a student on the basis of financial
need and does not need to be paid back. Visit the Church School & Institute
websites to learn more about financial aid eligibility and options.
Loans should be a last resort in receiving financial aid to pay for college. In
many cases, if you work and save money, explore family contributions, and apply
for scholarships and federal financial aid, you may not need to take out students
loans. However, student loans can be a useful option to help you pay for college
if all other options have been explored and additional financial need exists. There
are three main types of loans available:
Use loans responsibly and carefully to avoid excessive debt. Remember to counsel
with your parents and research loan options carefully to make informed decisions.
Paying For College
Everyone wants something, but how we go about getting these wants may vary. To get
what you want in life, it is important to have a plan. Paying for college is no
different. Students who have developed academic and financial plans are more likely
to be prepared for their college experience. On this page you will find helpful
tips and information that you can use to help you prepare and pay for your college