The cost of education is a hot topic these days. Millennials are on track to be the most educated generation ever, but rising costs mean that many graduates are set to be in debt for the rest of their lives. This is a bit of a catch-22 situation.
A more educated population means that we will be able to work more efficiently and make greater contributions to society. But when you have a higher number of degree-holders competing for the same jobs, there will be many unsuccessful applicants with no hope of ever paying back their student loans.
If you know where to look, there is actually a simple solution to this problem. With a little digging, you can have somebody else pay for your degree.
1. Get Good Grades
Merit is one of the most well-known ways to get your education paid for. If you are able to keep your grades up through high school, many educational institutions are willing to give you a free ride through the entire process.
Unless you’re one of the most brilliant students in the country, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get a scholarship for Harvard or Princeton. But simply qualifying for entrance into these school is usually enough to earn you a full ride scholarship at another excellent educational institution.
2. Look Everywhere
Even if you can’t get the school to pay for your education, there is still a lot of money out there just waiting to be found. You just need to look for it. Most financial institutions offer their own scholarships. HonestlyNow Banking, for example, has a scholarship application form located right on their homepage. You can also try local credit unions.
They often are required to spend a certain amount of money to better the community. What better way to do that, than by helping locals get their education? If you’re still coming up short, there are a number of websites online that allow you to search for scholarship programs located all across the country.
3. Join The Military
What do the Coast Guard, Air Force, Merchant Marines, and Naval Academies all have in common? Every one of them offers free education to their members. Not only do you get a chance to serve your country, but you’ll have the opportunity to get your degree while you do it.
The military actually have their own colleges, and you complete your training while you study. This can even give you an edge in the job market, as military schools are often very well respected in the commercial marketplace.
4. Be in Demand
If you’re in a high demand field, you can often get your future employer or even the government to pay for your entire education. Jobs like Nursing, teaching, and social work are in desperate need of employees, so there are plenty of programs that can help prospective students pay for their education.
Nursing, for example, has a program where your student loan is paid off provided you work in an underserved community. This does require that you take out a student loan in advance, but as long as you’re willing to live in a rural community your educational expenses could be nothing.
5. Take an Apprenticeship
If you like to work with your hands, apprenticeships are usually incredible opportunities. Typically, an apprenticeship takes 4 years just like a degree. Instead of studying for the entire four years, you’ll usually be working, for 10 months of the year you learn on the job, followed by two months in school.
The best part of it all is that your employer almost always covers your educational expenses. Even if you do have to pay for them on your own, you have ten months to save. Plus, because the courses are so short, the cost is usually minimal compared to a traditional education. On average, trade school charges $1500 per session. This is more attainable than the $10,000 per year that Universities charge.
Featured photo credit: GHATS via flickr.com