For some reason, regardless of how much you hear about it on television and read about it, there are still many people, especially those in the lower class that believe that just because you are poor you aren’t able to go to school. But the reality is that there are more opportunities these days to go to college for the less fortunate than there are for the middle class and higher. This is because of the numerous federal grants that are available for single parents, lower income, and disabled individuals.
If you are in a lower income household and you are looking to go to college, the first step that you need to take is applying for the college. By doing this, you are giving yourself an open door to talk to a financial aid counselor for free. These people are amazing at helping you to find every method possible for funding your education without you having to pay anything out of pocket immediately, if you have to even pay anything out of pocket at all.
The first thing that they are going to make you do is fill out the FAFSA, which is the Free Education for Federal Student Aid. Essentially this is a form that is supported by the Federal government through the department of Education. This form essentially lets you apply for free money from the government and makes you eligible for federally backed student loans. This is a relatively easy process and essentially just requires the tax information for everyone that you are applying with for last and current tax years. This means that if you are applying alone, which is the method that I generally recommend, especially if you are lower income by yourself, then you would just include your own documents. However, if you decide that you want to apply with your parents, you are going to need their documentation as well. To fill out this form, you can simply go to fafsa.edu and you’ll be able to find the appropriate information to get started on the application.
Generally the FAFSA process takes about a week before you’ll hear back the results. When you get the results, it’s going to tell you how much you are eligible for from the federal government. First they are going to tell you how much grant money you are approved for. If you are lower class, you are probably going to get quite a bit. I myself as a single military parent, receive about $7500/semester in federal grants. This is a lot of free money that I will never have to pay back. It goes to cover a great deal of my education.
Next you are going to see the Perkins and Stafford loans. These are commercial loans that you actually have to repay. You will get these loans approved regardless of your credit situation. You could have the worst credit in the world and still get approved for these government backed loans. It is up to you whether or not you take them. Most of the time you are going to get enough to cover the rest of your expenses for college from textbooks to classes. Sometimes you’ll find that you have enough leftover in order to pay for all of your housing. I personally am getting a check back for almost $18,000 this semester, because I already paid off all of my classes, so all of this money just comes to me in a check, which I’m going to use to payoff my current obligations and debts with higher interest rates. Generally on these loans you are going to have a 5-6% interest rate and it isn’t going to be payable until 6 months after you graduate. This of course means that you have more than enough time to get your education, and find a quality job with your new degree and then you start paying back the loans.
The biggest problem that I have found is that most don’t think that they can go to college because they can’t afford to pay back the loans. But this is under the assumption that they will make the same as they were making before college, which is highly unlikely if you were to get a degree in a solid career field that you can easily turn into a job somewhere.
Another way that you can go to college without any money is to apply for scholarships. There are numerous scholarships available for everyone, regardless of your background and situation. If you are a minority, they have minority scholarships, they have race based scholarships, and scholarships for women. There are so many different scholarships available and most don’t require that you do anything more than apply. However some require that you write short essays and the best essay will be the person with the scholarship offer.
In order to find scholarships, you can either talk to your college or you can setup an account at Fast Web and they will help you to find scholarships that are available to you. They currently have 1.3 million different listed scholarships. With that much free money, your odds of being able to gain some scholarship money is incredibly high. To get to this site just go to fastweb.com and setup a profile to begin searching. It’s definitely a site that is worth the look.
As you can tell there are numerous options out there that will allow anyone to go to school regardless of their race or financial background. The reality is that you just have to be motivated enough to get started and make something of your life. This is why many people use their financial status as an excuse, it’s because they just aren’t motivated enough to get it done.
Another option for those that require that they still work full time while they are going to school is taking online classes. These classes at an accredited university will give the education that a student needs, without actually having to go to campus based classes. This means that a student is able to work full time and do all of their school work at their own pace and schedule from the comfort of their own home or library or wherever. This can give the student a huge advantage in obtaining the skills that they need in order to obtain an even better position in the future.
with so many ways to go to college, there’s really no reason not to go. It just comes down to the motivation level. If someone really wants to go, then it’s easy enough for them to go. Unfortunately many people consider college their entire lives but never actually make the push to get it done. Sometimes it takes some extra motivation and stimulation to push yourself towards success, especially when you are uncertain about the future, but without the education, you could find yourself trapped forever in a low paying job with no real prospects for the future.