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How to Cover Tuition Costs

I’ve had several questions over the past week about covering tuition costs. Many of those questions centered around additional funding to cover courses after financial aid had run out for the individual. These are students who had to either drop out of school or put their education on hold since they no longer qualified for financial aid. It’s a pretty sticky situation, especially when you’re relying on an academic degree to upgrade your living standard in the near future.

Once financial aid has run out, the only real option left is to either set up a payment plan with the university you’re enrolled in or to search for scholarships and grants that may cover tuition costs.

Many universities work with foundations and institutions to guarantee some scholarship money for students. The first thing any student should do once they’ve run out of resources is to visit the university’s Bursar office to determine what options they have. I know a kid who didn’t receive enough financial aid to cover his courses only to discover that his school had scholarships for students taking advanced math classes.

Once you get a list (fingers crossed) of those options, it’s best to sign up for every one of them. If the school determines your options have run out, you can ask about local agencies that may have open scholarships. These agencies can include nonprofits, local businesses, and community organizations. The key here is to exhaust all the available possibilities. For example, if you were pursuing a registered nurse’s program, there may be local nonprofits working with local universities to provide that opportunity to the community. Specialized scholarships that cover protected rights may be available as well, such as if you’re a woman, have a prior criminal history, are disabled, or a person of color.

Covering tuition costs is a challenge, but there is help out there. To have access to those funds, you must have the will to ask for them. Relying on your school’s financial aid department and community resources is the best way to get that money.

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