Knowledge is power, that’s what they say. And, on paper, it’s true. Knowledge, when correctly applied through actions equates to skills, and skills are a valuable commodity in the workplace. The trouble is that a college education can be prohibitively expensive. So finding financing for your education is always a good investment.
Despite being a great driver for social and economic mobility, for too long college education has been a carrot that’s been dangled on a stick that’s elusively out of reach for those who are either unable to get a scholarship or who have personal wealth to fall back upon.
For the very young, this may not seem like such a big deal. Young people (teenagers and early twentysomethings) tend to have more immediate goals such as getting out of the family home, getting a stable job and achieving a measure of financial independence.
They can, however, find themselves pining for the experience of higher education when the world of work starts to lose its luster. If you never began your studies due to a lack of an available scholarship, or if your studies were cut short by pregnancy or childbirth, the good news is that it’s never too late to take up the reigns and enroll in higher education.
Finding Financing for Your Education is Always a Good Investment
Online learning: The great leveller
The world of online learning has levelled the playing field, allowing those dependent on a full time wage or those whose first priority will always be taking care of their kids the opportunity to learn where campus based learning would be prohibitive.
If you’ve ever wanted to study a masters in engineering management or a BA in fine art, the world of online learning allows you to follow your dreams. Of course, the question remains, how does one pay for it? Fortunately, even without a scholarship there are some great finance options…
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
No, seriously. Colleges and higher learning institutes all over the country can be bargained with in terms of financial aid. Financial aid tends to be means tested, meaning that they’ll calculate how much you or your family can afford to contribute to your education and render federal or state grant assistance to help cover the shortfall. The trouble is that the calculations are fallible.
Reaching out to the University’s management with a written letter followed up by a phone call may swing things in your favor. Be sure to delineate all the ways in which you would be an asset, comprehensively explaining your financial situation and indicating whether you’ve received offers of financial aid from comparable colleges.
Apply for a private scholarship
While you may think that the scholarship door is closed to you, there are many private scholarships for which you may be eligible.
Private companies, non profit organisations and local community groups can all be a source of funding if traditional means fall short. If you’re already employed see if your employer offers a grant scheme. If you’re still at high school, seek assistance from your guidance counsellor. Scholly is a great (and free) online resource for checking what grant assistance you may be eligible for.
If all else fails you can always resort to private loans or even credit cards (some banks offer special interest rates for students). Whatever form of financing you choose, paying for your education is always a good investment.