Posts Tagged ‘paying for college’

Five Small Ways to Save for College in High School

You may think that as a high school student there isn’t a whole lot you can do to pay for your college education, but, you might be surprised how a little can go a long way.

For those of you who won’t qualify for financial aid but are still responsible for generating the funds, or for those of you who want to decrease your loan amount by contributing what you can, here is a list of small ways to save that can help you big while you’re still in high school.

$20/Week: While you’re probably only making a few hundred dollars a month with a part time job, if you can afford to place $20.00 from every weekly paycheck into a savings account your junior and senior years of high school, that’s over $2,000 by the time you enter college. That’s equivalent to one-third of the average tuition for one year at state school.

Save Those Birthday Cards: Instead of blowing the $50 you received from grandma on your birthday on new clothes or movie tickets, start a saving account while you’re still in high school for any money you receive between now and college. Between birthdays, Christmases, family traditions, holidays, and your graduation, you could find yourself with another $1,000 to put toward college. That could pay for one year of textbooks and school supplies.

Talk to Your Bank: While having a savings account is great, you may not have the best savings account for your specific needs. Talk to your bank about the best account to save for college, as some accounts may have higher interest rates, which will provide you with a little extra money in the long run. You may also want to inquire about CDs- Certificates of Deposit. A CD allows you to deposit money at a bank as you would an account; however you will be unable to access that money for a given amount of time, whether that be six months or several years. When that time is up, you’ll receive your money back in addition to the interest accumulated on it. As a minor, you will likely have to have your parents set up the CD with the bank.

Roll Your Pennies: It may sound completely ridiculous and childish, but saving spare change in a jug over years at a time has been proven to add up quickly. According to a Banking My Way article published in 2009, a family was able to save $7,000 in change over five years. That could be a whole year’s worth of tuition! While you may not be able to hit that number, others report having saved around $400 a year with this method.

Senior Sale: Before going off to college, you may want to do some serious springcleaning. Perhaps you don’t actually want to, but your parents aren’t giving you a choice. Instead of tossing everything away, include yourself in a neighborhood yard sale, or sell your old things on sites such as Craigslist or eBay. A little extra cash can pay for honor society fees, club t-shirts, and other little college expenses you may not have foreseen.

Want to save more money for college? Make a personalized profile on Cappex today to be matched with scholarships!

6 Colleges That Are Cutting Tuition for Students in 2012-2013

At most places, college costs and tuition are increasing, making higher education less and less affordable for students and their families. But before you throw in the towel–seriously! Don’t stop reading quite yet–there are some private institutions that are coming down on tuition to help meet their students’ needs. Just as college-bound students are struggling to pay for college, colleges are struggling to get students to apply with such high price tags attached to their names. To get more applicants, colleges are attempting new programs to specifically appeal to you!

According to SmartMoney, there are at least six colleges that have announced that they plan to reduce tuition for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year. These schools hope that by lowering their tuition, they will attract students from middle-income families whose income keeps them from qualifying for federal financial aid, but is also not enough to pay for college without going into dangerous debt.

Here are six private colleges that are slashing prices in a big way for the upcoming school year:

Cabrini College
Tuition cut:
Lower tuition and fees in 2012-13: $29,000
Tuition and fees in 2011-2012: $33,176
Quick fact:  Cabrini College was one of the first American colleges  to make community service a graduation requirement for all undergraduates, which is a central focus in their curriculum.

Lincoln College
Tuition cut:
Lower tuition and fees in 2012-13: $17,480
Tuition and fees in 2011-2012:$23,000
Quick fact:  Lincoln University was the first institution named for Abraham Lincoln and the only one during his lifetime. It is one of few private two-year residential colleges in the U.S. Most students at Lincoln College receive the Associate of Arts Degree and then transfer to a four year college.

University of Charleston
Tuition cut:
Lower tuition and fees in 2012-13: $20,700
Tuition and fees in 2011-2012: $26,200
Quick fact: 25% of students who start at UC and stay through graduation get their degrees in less than four years, and an additional 10% proceed to graduate school before receiving an undergraduate degree.

William Peace University
Tuition cut:
Lower tuition and fees in 2012-13: $23,900
Tuition and fees in 2011-2012: $25,900
Quick fact: William Peace University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education for women in the United States. In North Carolina, it is only predated by Salem College, which was founded in 1772.

Duquesne University
Tuition cut:
 For freshman who enroll in the School of Education, they will receive a grant for 50% of their tuition.
Lower tuition and fees in 2012-13 (for education students): $14,355
Tuition and fees in 2011-2012 (for education students): $28,671
Quick fact:  A Catholic university, Duquesne is the only Spiritan institution of higher education in the world. The university’s living alumni includes two cardinals and the current bishop of Pittsburgh.

Seton Hall University
Tuition cut:
approximately $21,000 for incoming high-achieving freshmen
Lower tuition and fees in 2012-13: $10,104
Tuition and fees in 2011-2012:  Around $31,000
Quick fact: Seton Hall’s Stillman School of Business is repeatedly ranked as one of the top undergraduate business schools in the nation according to BusinessWeek.

Do these price slashes appeal to you or change your mind on colleges? Leave a comment in the section below!

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Want Financial Aid? 5 Things You Need to Know About the FAFSA

There’s nothing more daunting or confusing in the college application process than figuring out how you’re going pay for it all. Plus, the whole financial aid thingy isn’t just a pile of cash you find under your bed to help you pay for college–even though that’d be pretty awesome.

Getting financial aid involves an entire process. But even though it can be tedious and sometimes it’s more fun to complain about things like this than actually doing them, it’s not the worse thing in the world. In fact, spending a few hours doing annoying work, in this case, is worth it in the end.

So what’s at the core of this laborious process? The FAFSA! If you’re a high school senior and you haven’t heard of the FAFSA, get acquainted quickly because you’re going to need it in order to apply for almost any financial aid. Now remember, you probably don’t need the FAFSA to apply for private scholarships, like the ones you’ll find on Cappex, but you will need it for a mountain of other types of aid.

So here are 5 things you need to know about the FAFSA:

1. You probably most definitely will want to fill out the FAFSA.
You might not realize it at the moment, but so many places including schools and states depend on the FAFSA in order to grant you need-based aid. Some scholarship providers might even ask for it.

2. If you haven’t completed the FAFSA yet, DO IT NOW!
If you’re a senior applying to colleges…get your FAFSA completed! You can do it online here. It became available January 1, and some schools and states have deadlines as early as February 15. So get yours completed!

3. You’ll probably most definitely need help completing it.
Much of the FAFSA is about understanding your income and assets, and your parents’ income and assets to determine your Expected Family Contribution—the annual amount that the government expects you and your parents to be able to pay toward your college education. If your college costs (Cost of Attendance, or COA) exceed your calculated EFC, you’ll be eligible for need-based loans and/or grants to help pay your college bills. It’s really just a simple math problem, but getting all the details involving income, taxes, and assets can be confusing. So take time to go over everything with the people (usually your parents) who can help you.

4. Not sure you’d qualify for need-base aid? Fill it out anyways!
You should file the FAFSA even if you don’t think you’ll qualify for need-based aid. If you want to take out a federal loan of any type—including the unsubsidized Stafford Loan, which isn’t based on financial need—then you’ll need to file the FAFSA. Some scholarship providers even like to see the FAFSA.

5. Be organized.
You’ll need to reference a heap of documents including your social security number, tax forms or your parents’ tax forms, bank statements, and information on any businesses you or your family own, mortgage information, blah blah blah blah blah….you get the picture. Locate all important documents before you start completing the FAFSA.

Want more help? Here’s our worksheet FAFSA: Why You Need It, How to Start to help you get the money you need to pay for college.

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