Summer is here! While a lot of students are ready to just hit the beach and avoid anything productive this vacation, the season also provides a great opportunity for anyone needing money for college and looking to get ahead of their financial situation.
The most obvious way to make money over the summer is to find a new job. While the market for employment isn’t great now, there are still seasonal jobs opening up: lifeguard, landscaping, summer camp counselor, or just taking care of and watching over the neighborhood kids while their parents go to work. Pay for summer work might not the greatest, but the money earned or the student loans you’re saved from taking out can really change a student’s financial outlook by the next fall.
The next thing to remember is that its never a bad time to look for scholarships and grants. Scholarship and grant deadlines depend on the specific program, so no matter what time of year it is there is some opportunity to find money for college with a deadline coming up soon. Check out the Fastweb link on the left, or try our own free scholarship search to find contests, financial aid offers, loan forgiveness programs, and of course scholarships and grants for any major or hobbies you might be interested in.
Here’s another idea for saving money in the long run that some people may not think of: Attend more classes over summer! In the short term, this may raise your tuition bill, but if you take enough summer classes during your first three years you might be able to knock a semester off at the end of your final year in college. Obviously, this depends on the fees that your school is charging – if you have to pay extra for summer housing or if you have to pay for each year’s tuition up front, this might not be very helpful at all. In those circumstances you’d obviously save money by returning home for the summer and focusing on the job and scholarship searches.
Building a website can also be a financial boost and a chance to learn new skills and keep the mind sharp. Free web hosts are available so you can get started with no risk, or for just a few bucks a month you can set up a shared host that affords more flexibility and control over your online assets.
Most students might be on vacation, but most students are also graduating with record-levels of debt these days. A little extra effort now can pay off big time when compounding interest enters the picture.