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4 Great Resources to Help Low-Income Students Go to College

4 Great Resources to Help Low-Income Students Go to CollegePaying for college seems impossible for many low-income students. Every poor student knows to fill out the FAFSA for the greatest chance at a federal loan and perhaps a Pell grant. However, there are plenty of other ways to make your education more affordable. Here are four resources for college assistance you might not have known existed.

1. Federal Work Study

The Federal Work Study Program pairs students with jobs on campus. The government subsidizes half of the student’s wages while the university pays the other half. Getting a work study grant is a great way to boost your experience while you’re in college. Rather than flipping burgers while you’re studying, you can intern in a more relevant field. The hours are often more flexible, too, since the university knows your priority is your grades.

2. Income-Based Repayment Plans

Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough grants and scholarships to afford college. Luckily, income-based repayment plans take the pressure of loan payments off. You need a federal loan to make this work, but you’ll have smaller minimum payments depending on how much you earn. If you complete a certain amount of public service, you can even qualify for loan forgiveness after making 120 payments.

3. Profession-Specific Grants and Scholarships

If you’re going into a field of high need or community value, you might qualify for a federal grant or scholarship. For example, the TEACH Grant is federal assistance for students who pledge to serve four years as a teacher in a low-income school. Search for scholarships related to your field. Associations such as the American Society of Radiologic Technologists offer money to students who want to study radiologic sciences. These scholarships are designed to go to students who study in programs such as ADU’s bachelor in radiology degree.

4. Online Degree Programs

The traditional college experience seems nice at first, but the costs can be too overwhelming. Don’t bankrupt yourself just because you like the idea of giant lecture halls and a dull cafeteria food. Online degree programs are often more affordable for low-income students. Your housing, fuel, and food costs will go down, and it will be easier to have a job on the side. There are plenty of accredited programs that grant bachelor degrees in as few as five terms. You’ll be on your way to a career faster and with more money in your pocket.

Everyone deserves the opportunity to have a successful education and career. Just because you’re a low-income student doesn’t mean you’ll have to take out massive amounts of student debt. Just play it safe and make sure to talk to your university’s financial aid office for more advice.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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