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Money for College: Finding Money Early

Posted on April 1, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Dr. Jada:

My parents have told me that I do not have a college fund and I will not likely qualify for financial aid. Most schools in Illinois are 20 thousand dollars a year and up. I am 16, what can I do in the next 2 1/2 years to fund my college education? - J.S.

There are several things you can do. First you need to begin building your scholarship database. You did not indicate your grade point average, so you need to determine your strengths and find scholarships that consider those strengths. You can earn scholarships based on your grades, talents, volunteer service and leadership ability.

You can also get a job and begin saving money. Consider a Cooperative (Co-op) Education program. Many colleges offer Co-op programs where you attend college for two years and then you begin working with a company in your area of study on alternating semesters and they pay for your tuition. Another option is to pursue becoming a Resident Assistant or Advisor on the college dormitory this will waive your dormitory fees which can help reduce the cost of college. You can also find a job that has a tuition reimbursement program. If you are interested in the military consider the Coast Guard, they don’t participate in combat and they provide tuition for their enlistees. They also have an officers program that will pay you while you attend school. If you begin studying now you can try to make a high score on the ACT if you score of a 28 or higher you can get a full scholarship to many colleges. There are Scholarship books, and ACT prep books you can purchase that will help you prepare.

Categories: Money for College

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