Financing a college education can help a person realize his or her dreams of going back to school in order to pursue a career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual income for a person with a four-year degree is about $55,000, compared to the annual income of a high school graduate of about $33,000. In addition to helping a person earn a higher salary throughout his or her lifetime, going to college can provide other benefits to individuals, including the development of expected knowledge, lifelong friendships and the ability to pursue a career that is focused more on the interests and talents of the student.

There are several options to finance a college education. Grants provide funds for students that are usually based on financial need. Scholarships can also help with the process. These funds may be based on need, academic success or the students’ interests and experiences. Loans become a necessity for most college students. There are a variety of loans, including governmental loans and private loans. Sometimes loans can be forgiven, based on the type of career the student pursues. There are additional options beyond these three common financing options. For example, many older students work for a number of years and save the funds to attend college. Work-study enables students to work while they are enrolled in school. Acquiring a teacher’s assistant position can offset the cost of tuition, as becoming a resident advisor can do to offset boarding expenses. Some employers are willing to pay for an increased skillset of their employees and will pay for classes or reimburse a portion of the tuition that their workers pay in order to increase their level of education.

Cynthia Lopez