Funding Your Education: 5 Possible Options to Get College Financial Aid in the USA

Funding Your Education: 5 Possible Options to Get College Financial Aid in the USA

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By Scott Ragin

The cost of college education in the U.S. has reached its all-time highs, with more than $20,000 fee for public tuition last year, says the College Board. Those who intend to obtain an education in privately-owned institutions will have to pay more than $40,000 for a year. Thousands of students struggle with coming up with the funds needed for education and look for alternative ways to avoid falling into the debt trap.

Many of the students have enormous college debts. According to the latest data, the amount of student loan debt balance has already reached $1.32 trillion and continues to increase. Clearly, finding some other sources to fund education is a good idea because it may help to ensure avoiding debt and rewarding educational experience.

Being realistic about financial needs is essential in this case. Let’s bring you the most realistic and effective alternative ways to get financial aid for college education.


Option1. Apply for Local Scholarship

Today, getting a scholarship for college needs has become very easy but many students constantly miss this great opportunity. Local scholarships, for example, are given to the students for their extraordinary achievements and can provide them significant assistance. The opportunities offered by state agencies are great; for example, U.S. Department of State has a wide range of possible options for students, such as DCTAG ProgramAmericorpsMaryland Prepaid College TrustVirginia Education Savings Trust (VEST) and many more others. 

You are competing with thousands of students to get scholarships from these programs, though. The better chances are to get a local scholarship because the competition would not be as fierce. Have a look at opportunities provided by Elks Lodge, Kiwanis club, high school booster club, or other organization that may offer a plenty of options. 


Option 2. Apply for University Scholarship

If you’re out of local opportunities to get some funds, there’s always an option of university aid. Many educational establishments provide their students with scholarships upon acceptance based on their academic record. However, even if your record does not qualify you for this kind of help, do not be discouraged, says Daniel Drake, a chief educator from Aussiewriter. Referring to a college board for information about scholarships that you can apply to is a good idea because there could be plenty of funds for students that are provided depending on their study year, field of study, and ethnicity.


Option 3. Campus Work

Jobs available on the campus of your college can be a good supplement to your education fund. Most of them do not pay much but if you apply to FAFSA work-study package, this could be a good option to pay for a significant part of your check. These packages are available for all students applying to over 3,400 participating postsecondary institutions and the hourly wage on these jobs often equals to the federal minimum wage. Getting a job on the campus therefore may be very helpful in paying for college because it may provide a steady flow of extra cash.


Option 4. International Student Loans

If you’re a non-U.S. citizen, you cannot always be eligible for the local loans from the governments but there are some options provided by international student loans. They are specifically designed for foreign students that wish to study in the U.S. and allow to borrow significant amounts of funds. However, given that these loans are private, they should be repaid, so taking a reasonable amount is strongly recommended.


Option 5. International Organizations

Many international organizations that fund college education are represented in the U.S., including Open Society Foundations (OSF)AMIDEAST, and Fulbright Commission. They are great sources of money for college and used by tens of thousands of students, so it can be a little bit difficult to receive the desired amount because of the competition. However, not trying to take advantage of this opportunity greatly reduces your chances for raising financial aid for your education. 



U.S. colleges are among the best in the world and getting education there is something that should be used. However, if getting funds for education in the U.S. has been your priority for a while, explore these options to see which one works.

Scott Ragin is an online tutor and an experienced educator. Scott always tries to create all the necessary conditions for the development of a well-integrated personality in his students. He loves guiding other people through their teaching practice and shares his ideas as a blogger. Feel free to contact him on Facebook.