Managing The Costs to Transfer
by Howard Freedman
Copyright 2019 Financial Aid Consulting. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced mechanically, electronically, by photocopying or by any other means without expressed written permission of the author.
Howard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Attending a public two-year college is one of the best values in educations today. It provides students with jump start towards a four-year degree that is highly discounted in comparison to most public and private four-year colleges and universities. Yet, once it over, can students afford to move on to a four-year program?
The answer is ‘yes” as long as each student is prepared to find the best ways to pay for the remaining two years of their undergraduate education.
Copyright 2018-Finacial Aid Consulting. All rights reserved, No portion of this article may be reproduced mechanically, electronically, by photocopying or by any other means without expressed written permission of the author. to the College Board’s Trends in College Pricing 2010, the average cost for tuition and fees at a two-year college is about $2713 per student per year. This compares to an average of $7605 for in-state tuition and fees and $27,293 for tuition and fees at private non-profit four-year colleges. Although these numbers may be overwhelming and at least triple the amount that you are currently paying, evaluating your options will not impede your progress for obtaining a bachelors degree.
Start the process by deciding if you plan to transfer to a public or private college or university. If money is an issue, a public college and living at home may be the most economical. Depending on your major, it may also make sense if you want to minimize the amount of debt and loans that you will have when you graduate. Also, consider taking the required courses as you need them at local colleges and universities that charge less per credit hour.
If you plan to move on to a costly private college, loans will become a more important factor. Simply complete a FAFSA to qualify for a $7500 Stafford Loan per year for your junior and senior years. These are easy to obtain, does not require a co-signor and offers several deferred repayment options. Private loans requiring a co-signor are also available. It is also time to build a positive credit history by paying your bills on time. This will help lower the costs of borrowing and add towards building a high credit score to improve the costs of borrowing after you graduate.
Consider working during the day and earning your degree at night. This is a viable alternative that will help you to earn money and save. The downside is that it may take longer to earn your degree but gives you a better balance between academia and the work world. It will also provide ways to improve your resume, network with others and established with an employer. Even with entry-level jobs, there are opportunities to work your way up and be recognized in a positive way.
Many employers also offer tuition assistance and scholarship programs. Some employers also offer on-site degree programs through local colleges and universities. This is not a quick way of earning a degree but a very viable option if other sources of financing do not satisfy your financial need.
Assess what degree or major to pursue or other options after your first two years in a two-year program. It is the time to be honest with yourself in terms of your direction and if you feel comfortable with moving on to another 2 years in the classroom. Ask yourself about career opportunities after graduation and how much debt you will have to repay. On the other hand, never take the easy way out even if college is a challenge. It is also an opportunity to stretch yourself into new areas of interest and prove that you have much more to offer than you may think. Whatever you do, don’t worry about what others think as long as you are committed and focused on self-improvement.
Value: A college education is by far the best investment you can make. I keep repeating this thought as a college education and degree can never be taken away once you honestly earn it. Before taking that final step towards earning that degree research what employers are looking for and whether a degree at a private college or university is worth much more than one at a public university. For example, is a degree in education that does not offer the highest salary worth going to a private college and graduating with $100,000 in loans? This is simply an exercise in cost versus value.
The most positive thing to remember is that you will earn your bachelors degree and it won’t be that costly as you plan ahead. It is only a matter of how fast you want to travel and you know when to apply the brakes. You made a wise decision by taking a more assured and economical path towards your degree and are that much wiser and poised for success than you were when you begin.
You have choices and ways to get the job done. All you have to do is to go for it.