Ideally getting a scholarship is the best way to fund one’s education as it has no requirements for being paid back. However, many people use a combination of loans and scholarships since there may be only partial coverage from grant money. Understand and note the deadlines for both the loan and scholarship applications to avoid any rejections due to missed dates.
Find out also about work study opportunities on campus. I worked in the campus dining room and it was actually enjoyable and a good way to meet people. One of my closest friends was from there. If there are jobs in the campus bookstore that is also a wonderful way to meet people, especially as an incoming freshman. Nonetheless, working can cut into study time and it’s understandable that many people prefer to use scholarships and loans during the school year and work
during the summers.
Scholarships can be under a number of categories including children of the military, epilepsy scholarships, single mom funding and even being a lefty. There are thousands available and do not feel your gpa is too low to apply. Many do not rely upon gpa alone and factor in leadership skills and community service. Federal loans cannot be defaulted on so this needs to be thought about carefully. They are not dischargeable even during bankruptcy so think about what your future career will be and the amount you borrow. The good thing is that the interest is low and you do not have to worry about payments while you are a student. There may also be options of family loans to review as well that can supplement your studies.
Corporate scholarships are another option where your tuition is covered but you will be working for the company after graduation. If you’ve been interested in a specific company, look into being an intern in high school and see if they have a program that can work with your future goals. Don’t get too far into debt if you can help it as the salary range is not always predictable for any profession and it will be a number of years before you’ll be out of school.