4 WAYS TO PAY FOR COLLEGE IF YOUR FINANCIAL AID ISN’T ENOUGH By Ryan Lane
For 61% of students, college costs more than they expected, according to a recent survey from College Ave Student Loans conducted by Barnes & Noble College Insights.
Yoselin Guzman, an 18-year-old UCLA freshman from Compton, California, can see why.
“There’s like little costs you don’t even see,” says Guzman, noting how expensive dorm items, books and student orientation are. When those unexpected costs arise — and your existing financial aid won’t cut it — here are four options to get more money for school.
Crowdfund the shortfall
When Guzman realized her savings and scholarships wouldn’t cover her college expenses, she started a GoFundMe campaign to crowdfund $5,000.
“I was a little embarrassed to show people I’m struggling financially,” Guzman says.
Getting over those fears helped cover her funding gap. Now, she says the donations have “given me that confidence that I’m not alone in this world.” She’s certainly not alone on GoFundMe: The website hosts over 100,000 education-related campaigns each year, though not all are for college tuition, and success varies. “We’ve seen an increase in crowdsourcing as an option for covering college costs,” says Brad Lindberg, assistant vice president for enrollment at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. But Lindberg cautions students to work with their school’s financial aid office before starting a campaign. The additional funding might affect future aid eligibility, he says. Increase your work schedule GoFundMe allows students to keep any funds they receive, even if they fall short of their overall goal. But there’s no guarantee you’ll get any money. Working, though, is a surefire way to do that. 2
If you’re eligible for a work-study job, that’s typically the best option.
“Your supervisor is a built-in mentor; they understand you are a student first [and there’s] flexibility in scheduling,” says Ashley Bianchi, director of financial aid at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. If you already have a job, consider working more hours. That may be tricky with work-study positions, since earnings are capped at a specific amount, so look off campus or on a college student- focused job board.
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