A college education is a major investment. Simply put: It costs money! But with some careful planning you can find ways to make it more affordable. Here are some tips from Binghamton University to help you start crunching the numbers and plan for your future.
Involve your family
Have an open and honest conversation with your family about everyone's financial expectations. Do family members plan to contribute to the cost of your education? Will they contribute on a monthly basis so you can budget? Is the money a loan or a gift?
Attend Financial Aid Night
Find out whether your school has college nights or financial aid nights. Plan to attend those events with your parents.
Prepare for the Scholarship Search
Take inventory of your strengths and talents, and talk to your counselor about how to find scholarship opportunities. Our process is easy: All Binghamton applicants are considered.
Know this five-letter word: F-A-F-S-A
FAFSA stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and it's the form you'll be completing next year to receive federal student aid. You can start the process now by going to the site and creating an ID. Completing the FAFSA is the only way to potentially land a piece of the more than 80 billion dollars the federal government provides in grants, loans and work-study programs to college students each year. More info at fafsa.ed.gov.
Learn how to budget
College may be the first time you’re managing your own money without the help of an adult. The best way you can make sure you’re keeping track of your expenses is to create a budget or a spending plan.
Consider getting a part-time job
Working part time not only allows you to save money, but also gets you involved in your campus/local community.
Use the net price calculator to estimate the net price (your out-of-pocket expenses) of attending a particular college.