How can I afford it?
Financial aid is used by millions of students to make college affordable
Paying for college is often a daunting task. That’s why governments and universities go to such great lengths to help students make ends meet.
From subsidized loans to scholarships to tuition discounts, students have a variety of tools to help with the financial investment required for college:
- Government-subsidized loans: Because a college degree will usually open doors to higher paying careers, it often makes sense for students to borrow money now that they can pay back as college graduates. The federal government makes this option easier with low-interest loans that do not require repayment until after graduation. Students only need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Tax credits: Educational tuition and materials are largely tax deductible and can be written off on federal tax returns. This means students don’t pay taxes on the money they use to pay for college.
- Merit-based grants (scholarships): Nevada offers merit-based scholarships to new freshman based on high school grade point average and standardized test scores. Awards range from $2,500 to $1,000. There are also hundreds of endowed scholarships offered by the university’s academic units. There are also literally thousands of scholarships available from numerous sources around the country. Though there is a certain amount of leg-work involved in applying for many scholarships, others are as simple to come by as filling out a quick application.
- Need-based grants (scholarships): These grants are awarded based on student need. Often, this is determined by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Tuition discounts: Nevada offers discounted tuition to Nevada residents as well as residents from states participating in the Western Undergraduate Exchange program.
- Work-study: Based on a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the federal government may award work-study which allows students to work on-campus or off-campus jobs and earn money for living expenses.
Education as an Investment
Money spent on education usually finds its way back to you.
It’s no secret that a college degree is a big investment of time and money. But unlike buying cars or expensive computers, money spent on education usually finds its way back to you.
That’s because college degrees open doors to opportunities that mere high school diplomas do not. A university degree sets you apart — and employers notice. After all, if earning a college degree were easy, everyone would have one.
However, cost of attendance is a valid concern when choosing a college. Conventional wisdom would have you believe that the more expensive the cost, the better the education — but that’s not true.
Public universities like Nevada keep costs down and quality high so that more people have access to the life-changing benefits of a college degree. Proof of this value is found in the hundreds of successful Nevada alumni in every industry.
- Apply for financial aid and scholarships: Opportunities for government-subsidized financial aid and merit-based campus scholarships are constantly increasing.
- Graduate in four years or fewer: To minimize the cost of a college degree, students should attend full-time to ensure completing their degree on-time. Additional semesters spent on campus incur additional fees and possibility of increased tuition.
- Create an academic plan: It’s a common mistake for students to take classes not required for graduation. With a comprehensive academic plan, students minimize the chance of taking such classes.
- Find a student job: On-campus jobs help students better engage with the campus and earn helpful spending money. Some jobs even include free room and board or academic credit.
- Take advantage of networking opportunities: A university campus is an ideal place to create and improve your list of professional contacts like employers, recruiters and mentors to write letters of recommendation. These contacts will help graduates when entering the job market.