Students Can Actively Save Money For College While They Are Still In High School
By Amanda Machonis, Stride Success Coach
Everyone knows college is expensive! If you’re planning to invest in your education at the start of your career, then read on for some ways to help you save money while you make that investment…
#1: Get started on college level courses while in high school, to save money for college.
Are you familiar with the community college (or colleges) in your area? If not, then get to know them! You can take introductory courses for a fraction of the cost of those found at a 4-year university. Imagine starting college with credits toward your degree already….6 credits, 10, or even up to 60… if you earn an associate’s degree!
Many 4-year colleges partner with community colleges, to ensure the credits will transfer correctly… look for articulation agreements. Talk to your school counselors about dual enrollment and other arrangements, and get a jump-start on college. Also, some AP courses may count toward college credit, as well.
#2: Apply for scholarships to help save money on college tuition.
There are lots of scholarship opportunities out there – you just have to search for them. Don’t discount local scholarships, even if the amount is small. The applicant pool will also be smaller, so your odds of getting the award are higher. If you get numerous awards for a few hundred (or thousand) dollars each, those can add up. Be persistent when applying, as you’re likely to get a lot rejections and only a few successes. There are also many places to look. Your colleges of interest will have scholarships for merit and maybe other areas, like majors or athletics. Use sites like Tallo.com and Scholarships.com too.
#3: Get a part-time job while in high school, to save money for college.
Besides the obvious benefit of making money, there are many other reasons to get a part-time or side job. You will begin to build professional skills like time management, customer service, teamwork. These skills will make you a more attractive candidate in the job market, once you get to the point of launching a full-time career.
Working also expands your professional contacts network, which can lead to future opportunities, as well. If you’re finding it hard to work regular hours, then you could consider a gig like babysitting or pet sitting, or even seasonal gigs, like mowing lawns and shoveling snow. Some high school students are even entrepreneurs running online businesses. Your priority should always be school and your grades though, so find the right balance for yourself.
#4: Work for a place that offers tuition support, to save money for college.
Many larger businesses offer employees some form of tuition support. Sometimes you may have to work a certain number of hours per week, or be there a certain amount of time for the benefits to kick in, but they can be worth it. For example, Chipotle partners with Guild Education to offer free tuition for a variety of programs in health, business, cybersecurity, and more! Starbucks offers a College Achievement Plan. They partner with Arizona State University, to offer free tuition for first-time, online bachelor’s degrees. There are over 100 different degrees you could pursue with this program, which is offered to both full-time and part-time workers. Check out other companies like Amazon and McDonald’s, as well.
#5: Open a bank account for your hard-earned cash, as you save your money for college.
Many banks offer either student or college accounts, with the intent of helping you save for the cost of your education. Until you turn 18, you’ll have to have a custodial account with a parent, but many banks offer cash bonuses just for opening an account. Having an account while in high school can introduce you to managing your finances and budgeting. Other benefits for student bank accounts may include no monthly fees, access to a debit card, no ATM fees at some machines, and overdraft protection.
Interested in learning more before choosing a college? Be sure to check out the podcast, “A College Recruiter Discusses How To Help Teens Take A Step Forward On The Path to Their College And Career Dreams!”
Feel like you need some more guidance in getting started on your college planning and/or career prep? Make sure you read How To Find A High School Career Coach, as well!
Ready to get an active jump-start on your career plans and college admissions? Make sure you check out Stride Success Coaching: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/career-exploration/student-success-coaching.html
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