Most of you parents are probably thinking, “how in the heck I can send my kids to college?”.
It’s daunting question to answer, especially if you have not thought about paying for your child college education. Maybe you have but have not spent the time to research nor thought about not having to save. You are not alone in thinking this way.
I thought about college since my freshman year in high school. My parents certainly aren’t wealthy nor had the money and had told me, “We’re not paying for my college.” And so I never fully realised how that was a life-changing word. I simply accepted it. After all, I was a “C” student who did not pay attention.
In my senior year in high school and I began to question my future. Will I go to college? That answer was “Heck NO!” I had no money nor saved any of it.
My friends didn’t talk much about college, and so didn’t get onboard, and whenever the topic of ‘college’ came up in a discussion, I was quite.
I guess in some ways, when a Navy recruiter called me one day, “hey do you want to join the Navy?” I felt obligated to at least hear him out and some way was “relieved” the idea that I have a way to pay for college.
Let’s get back to the question, “how to pay for college?”
1) Think of joining the Military.
The military is not for everyone. But for me, it was the only right choice to make. I spent my early teens growing up in the military base-Travis AFB California, and Plattsburgh AFB in New York. Military bases became my familiar environment.
When I enlisted the military, I had several goals that I wanted to achieve other than how to pay for college. I wanted to see the world and eventually return to California. https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/
2) Just Work
No IF or BUTs, I worked a lot. And yes, sometimes, I had three jobs, while taking on 12 units of college courses. It wasn’t easy but helped pay for college. Having served in the Navy, I took the mindset that of a “warrior student”. I remember making more money working on multiple part-time jobs than I ever made in the entire three years I served.
3) Attend Community College – It’s cheaper
Believe or not, it saved me a lot of money. I remember I paid $120 a year in tuition. If I went straight to a University, I had to pay about $1,200 a year in tuition plus books. Besides, I was never a good student academically. I had to take many prerequisites classes the first few years in order to take on the more advanced courses like Calculus and business accounting that were transferable to a four-year university.
4) Find a roommate share cost
The biggest house hack I recommend. I was fortunate enough to meet a friend, a fellow “Navy veteran.” I remember paying him about $250 a month including utilities. Where in today’s dollar that would cost me about $700 to $900 a month.
It’s important to find roommates that you share the same values, and that can relate to you.
5) Find an employer that will help bare the cost of college.
If you ever decide to attend a graduate school, find a job first. Believe or not, many companies offer a benefit that helps pay its employee college cost or even graduate school while earning a full-time salary.
I was able to find a company that provided that benefit to help pay for an online graduate program, except before I could to finish my program, the company profit took a dive, and I got laid off as a result.
- Join the military
- Find a roommate
- Attend low-cost Community College
- Find an employer that offers benefits to help to pay for college.