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When should I start thinking about how to pay for college?

Written by Ashworth College on Thursday, 06 August 2015. Posted in Why Ashworth

When Should I Start Thinking About How to Pay for College?

Thinking about going back to school? If so, now is also the perfect time to start thinking about the costs and how to pay for them. When thinking about earning a degree, students often rely on financial aid which must be paid back…with interest. However, at Ashworth College, we ensure that our programs are affordable, and students are able to enroll faster than at other schools.

We are flexible with students, which allows for some wiggle room in case their financial situation changes while they're in school. We work closely with students to identify plans that fit their financial needs to avoid student loans or providing a significant payment in advance. As a result, 93% of our students are able to graduate without relying on hefty federal student loans.

Ashworth College has three different financial plans available and we talk through payment options with students to help them choose the one right for them. Students can pay in full, set up an auto-pay charge, or make monthly payments. Many students use our tuition calculator to see how much tuition costs so they can compare it to their budget and make an informed decision about when to start saving.

There are also two scholarships available to students. The Gary Keisling ACCESS Scholarship provides opportunities to students or potential students who normally would not have as much access to education. Additionally, scholarships for career diplomas and undergraduate certificates are available to graduates of James Madison High School and select Job Corp Centers.  Any Ashworth College or James Madison High School admissions representative can help you learn how to apply for these scholarship opportunities.

Believe it or not, cutting back on some daily expenses can also add up to big savings. Creating small habits, like saving your change, will make saving easier in the long run. Here are some other steps you can take right away:

What you can do now

  • Get in the habit of deciphering between a "want" versus a "need"
  • Take advantage of discounts and sales
  • Buy items in bulk
  • Buy generic and use coupons
  • Cancel subscriptions you don't use
  • Bring lunch to work instead of going out and make your own coffee instead of buying expensive lattes
  • Use public transportation instead of cabs
  • Assess purchases in terms of quality in addition to price

The earlier you start saving, the larger a safety net you will be able to establish. If you make saving a habit, it will help provide you with financial stability later on. When distributing your monthly budget, allot a portion to savings first or set up an automatic savings program, where a portion of your paycheck is automatically deposited into your savings account. After you have started to develop saving practices, you can start to identify your goals and map out a plan in order to focus on long-term strategies for paying for your online education. Below are some tips for developing a savings goal:

  • Research the cost of the program you are considering
  • Start saving early, and look for high-interest rate and low-fee savings account plans
  • See if your current bank will reward you with a better rate for customer loyalty
  • Checkout online banking options because they sometimes offer higher interest rates
  • Create a personal savings plan with established savings goals and a monthly budget
  • Map out a degree tracker to finish your degree on time and cost-efficiently
  • Payoff credit card debt and don't purchase more than you can afford
  • Ask your employer about a tuition reimbursement program
  • Look into federal grant programs and tax benefits for which you may qualify

Being proactive is the first step toward financial planning success and there are numerous tools and strategies available to help you earn your degree without student debt. Remember that when deciding which program is right for you, you should consider picking a program that matches with both your educational needs and career goals, but also with your financial situation.

Let's talk about your educational goals. Call 1-800-957-5412