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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How To Pay For College While Still In High School

Don’t worry high school students I haven’t forgotten about you.  You may be wondering with all these posts on how to save and make money geared mostly towards college students how you can pay for college.  It’s great that you’re already thinking about this (you’re ahead of the curve). 

If your parents allow you to work during the school year make sure to put the majority of your part-time job earnings into a savings account for college (something like a 529 account or a money market account…your parents can help with this).

If you aren’t allowed to work there are other ways to start thinking ahead for college.    The first is one of the most obvious…scholarships.  You need to make completing scholarships and competitions a priority.  Treat it like a job and give yourself minimum quotas of scholarships to complete each week.  Scholarships are a numbers game, the more you fill out, the more you earn.

Scholarships probably won’t pay for everything though.  You need to seriously consider your game plan for paying for college.  You should review the pathways to college in the “Where to Start” tab and have some good, solid, honest conversations with your parents.  Make sure to choose what will work best for you and your family.

What else can you do now?  Maybe making some sacrifices now can help tremendously later.  You may think I’m crazy, but having your own car shouldn’t be priority one right now.  First of all it costs a great deal of money to purchase, maintain, and pay for insurance.   This money could be going to college savings instead.   Also think about how you spend money for special events.  Do you really need a $300.00 dress for homecoming or prom?  There are plenty of beautiful dresses for 1/3 the price, or be a trendsetter and make your own fashions.  Limos and hotel parties are also costly and unnecessary.

You can also start with internships and volunteer work in career areas that you are interested in.  This way when you are ready for college/university you won’t waste your money and time on majors that you won’t like.

These are just some ideas to consider for now.  Keep up your grades and keep looking to your future!
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