General Question

auhsojsa's avatar

How can I pay for a 4 year university in a wise manner?

Asked by auhsojsa (2516points) January 19th, 2012

Currently I’m studying at a junior college and am doing pretty well. But transferring, the next step for me, seems next to impossible with my financial situation. The situation is, I barely have income as well as when I do have it, it’s dedicated to credit cards, food and gas.

How can I afford tuition to a four year? More specifically I plan to go to SDSU for one school year the average tuition is about $6,578. So cut that in half per semester, and I need to achieve 60 units and average 12 units to be considered full-time.

Got any creative advice? Open to all possibilities.

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8 Answers

bongo's avatar

May or may not work for you as I have no idea what sex you are but I know some of my mates danced in “gentlemen’s clubs” throughout their degree. Sad fact but it got them the cash. Luckily as I go to uni in the UK you get given a student loan and pay it back after you finish. Are there no loans available for education in the US?

Pandora's avatar

I knew a girl a few years ago that went to a local large businesses and asked if they had any grants available. Some are willing to do it for tax breaks. (although I do not know if many do it now) She got 1000 here and there and was able to actually live off of the grants given and pay off her school as she went.
She said it was a lot of work but it worked out in the end.
Another way would be to join the military as a reservist. You’ll get some added income.
If you know anything about web designs you can also go to local small businesses and offer to design a web page for them. Most don’t because they don’t know how or don’t want to pay enormous prices to a professional. Charge them a modest price for a modest and easy to update website design.
Most small businesses don’t understand that its a good idea to advertise items they may have that no one else has. Especially if they have specialty items.

submariner's avatar

I took a year off after high school, continued to live at home, and worked full time for 11 months to raise money for college. I took overtime when I could get it and had almost no social life. I also got a partial scholarship.

50 weeks x 40 hours/week x $3.50/hr = $7000. If you can save at least $140/week, you’ll make enough for two semesters’ tuition in 12 months. But if you have credit card debt, you need to pay that off immediately and from then on, always pay it off before the interest kicks in. Part-time work while you study and/or a small (under $12k) student loan could pay for the rest without loading you with unbearable debt (IF you are not already burdened with other debts).

Consider getting rid of the car. Unless you are making money off of it somehow (I delivered pizzas and got mileage and tips), cars mostly just eat money.

Some universities have scholarships that are specifically aimed at transfer students. Look into it.

If you don’t get any support from your folks, you might want to see if you qualify for independent student status. You’ll get more need-based aid if only you only have to report your own income. If you take two years off and work FT, you’ll probably qualify even if you are under 24.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Apply for student loans. If you aren’t making almost any money, you’ll qualify. Plus, apply for grants and scholarships.

majorrich's avatar

Now is the time to be filling out your FAFSA applications for federal student aid. This is forwarded to the financial aid department of the college you intend to go to. There is a ton of aid that goes unused and they love to make it possible for students to attend. The FAFSA tells the college how much you and your family (or in the case of an emancipated student how much he/she can afford) They then can tailor a financial aid package including grants, loans and university price-cuts to make it possible for you to attend. If you have a good score on your SAT/ACT and a good GPA you have a good chance for aid. Also, Federal work study helps, and Any other organizations you or your family may belong to may have help (churches, Veterans organizations, High School scholarships)
Going through this process even as we speak. It is a headache, but my son is going to a private college (over 50k/year) and I pay $2300 per year for him to attend.

Esedess's avatar

Are you going to Mira Costa right now?

Charles's avatar

Loans, part time job, military service, parents, scholarships, changing schools (to one that offers scholarships), grants.

It sounds like you are doing exactly the right thing though. Get as much completed at the JC then transfer to a four year. Once you get out, hopefully without a ton of debt, you can start working and saving while your pals with $80K worth of debt are paying off their student loans for the next 15 years.

ETpro's avatar

@auhsojsa Welcome to Fluther, and thanks for posing a great question which many people can learn from. I can tell you how my youngest child did it. Firgive me if I do a bit of bragging about my him. I am enormously proud of him and his dedication and careful planning of his life.

My son had a promise that his full tuition would be paid and he could go to any school he could get accepted in. He wanted to get a degree in Film Scoring, and that meant Berklee College of Music in Boston or USC, both of which are really pricey schools. Even though he knew his tuition would be paid for, he chose to do it himself. He enrolled in a 5-year ROTC program at Northeastern University here in Boston, and commuted between Berklee and Northeastern. In 5 years he was able to get two Bachelors degrees, one in Film Scoring and the next in Viola Performance.

He started in the Massachusetts Army National Guard as a 2nd Lt. in infantry. He deployed to Afghanistan early in 2011, and shortly after getting there, his Company needed a Signal officer, which is supposed to be a position for a Captain. He had done all the needed schools and is a computer whiz adept at setting up sound and communication systems, so he took the job, soon making 1st Lt.

With the GI Bill he earned, he is now taking classes on his Masters at Harvard. He wants to transfer the classes he;s taken to MIT in the future, because he wants a Masters and PhD in Media Arts and Sciences, and Harvard doesn’t offer that degree.

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