How to Supplement Financial Aid
Receiving financial aid isn’t the only way to diminish the cost of attending college. Aside from applying for scholarships or seeking a lower student loan interest rate, there are a few simple ways you can bolster your financial aid package.
Get Better Grades
Raising your GPA and proving your academic merit places you in an advantageous position when asking for more financial aid from your college. Financial aid offices can shrink your grant or scholarship amounts each year if you’re performing poorly. They’d rather support successful students. Perform well in your courses and record GPA improvements so you can use them when petitioning for better financial aid.
College campuses and towns are rife with work opportunities, even if you don’t qualify for a Federal Work-Study Program. These positions tend to be more accepting of your need to balance classes and homework with work hours. Ask your financial aid office about work-study and other jobs as soon as you can, since these positions fill quickly.
Use Entry-Level Investing Services
Although it might not offer immediate returns, investment services can grow a decent chunk of money during your college years. Using apps like Robinhood, Acorns or Betterment gives you the chance to choose the level of risk you’re comfortable with and see your money grow over time. Patience is necessary when it comes to safe investing, and this is a great way to counter loan interest rates and make money on the side while doing very little work.
Setting up a crowdfunding page for your higher education and asking friends and family to contribute can net you a hefty chunk of change. Once the crowdfunding effort is complete, keep in touch with those who contributed by sending updates on your life in college as well as good grades. Remind them what they supported is a kind gesture and can help you out if you need to crowdfund again.