Funding for Students: A Brief Guide to Paying for Your Education
For some career paths and job opportunities, employers are looking for their potential employees to be qualified or hold a degree. While this isn’t always necessary, employers looking for a degree do so for a number of reasons;
– It shows commitment
– It shows an affinity for learning
– It represents a greater understanding of a certain sector or topic
These can all be very hireable traits and can set you apart from someone with no degree when it comes to competitive job market. However, further and higher education are rarely free, unless you can prove yourself enough for a full-ride scholarship or are lucky enough to come from a well-earning family that can cover your tuition and living costs.
Finding the funding for your education can be stressful, particularly if you must consider additional aspects like;
– Where to live?
– How do I fund the cost of living?
– Do I pay zakat on my student loans?
– Will I need further funding for learning equipment?
To get you started on the right track, here are a few suggestions for students to explore.
Ways of Paying for Your Education
If you don’t have the money to pay for your education immediately, that doesn’t have to prevent you going and there are other financial methods for settling your student costs without compromising your future.
It’s not uncommon for students to seek financial aid and most students receive help in some form or another, including from;
Scholarships are usually funded by the school themselves, but private scholarships come from external sources including non-profits, charity, local communities and even big businesses. Explore the options for private scholarships local to you or ask at your current school about access to resources regarding private scholarships. Then you can plan to approach relevant companies that could benefit from supporting your education to bring you on board as a competent, qualified employee in the future.
Grants are like loans, but they don’t need to be repaid. There are several reasons a student would be given a grant, but they are usually based on financial needs and income level. Grants often won’t cover the full cost of education and life while studying but instead aim to fill the gap between income level and education costs. Talk to your intended place of study to find out what availability they have for grants and what the qualifying criteria is to be accepted for an education grant.
Negotiate Your Tuition Cost
Places of education wouldn’t last very long without their student body and it’s not uncommon for students to be able to negotiate the cost of their tuition after talking to the university and college about their financial status. It won’t affect your application in the long run but can actually help your potential school show you are serious about your education and will do what it takes to find the money to study.
While student loans are really the last resort of paying for your education, they do have their place and there are dedicated student loans that don’t have to be paid back until you hit a certain earning threshold. This is provided when you consolidate private student loans, which also gives you the lowest interest rates and best payment terms. On rare occasions, some employers will assist a new graduate with their student loans however this is often only the case when being headhunted right out of college or university.
There are also plenty of students that work alongside studying for their degree however finding a work-life-study balance can be difficult and has caused many students to struggle with their lifestyle and mental health. Carefully consider whether your intended career path would truly benefit from putting yourself into debt before you start applying for loans, including reaching out to employers to ask what other aspects on your CV would consider you a candidate for employment, rather than just a degree. There are many businesses and companies that do put more value on real-life experience and gained skills, rather than a paid-for degree and it pays to do thorough research.