Hopefully you have already started working long before you are a senior in high school. Most teens find work in restaurants, retail stores, babysitting, grocery stores, camps, amusement parks, golf courses, ski areas, and even in nursing homes.
Once you are actually in college, decide between a work study program or on an off-campus job. If you work on-campus, you will save money on gas, car repairs and car insurance. However, off-campus jobs pay a lot more. On the other hand, some work study programs assist you with your tuition! If you are a Resident Assistant, you might get a free dorm room. Paid internships are another option and look great on your resume.
Save part of each paycheck that you earn. You should be able to save a lot if you just become more discerning. Take advantage of this time when you do not have adult bills to pay. You probably live with your parents and get free meals and housing. Save the money that you get on birthdays and on holidays.
Plan Early - You should plan early to get your college costs down.
-Start researching scholarships now.
-Join associations and organizations that offer money to students.
-If your high school offers free college credit classes, take them. High school college programs are usually offered through a local community college and can give you one or two years of credits.
-Consider community college as a beginning to your academic career. County colleges are often less expensive than private schools because they are subsidized by State tax money and can be a jumping stone to a four year university.
- Ask an admissions officer when you will be advised of the school's financial aid offer.
- Find out whether your financial resources will have any impact on the college's decision to admit you.
- Ask how to qualify for need-based aid, merit-based scholarships and talent-based scholarships.
- Ask about payment options. Many colleges offer tuition payment plans that let you make installment payments for each semester's bill.
- Ask whether the school will lower your financial aid award if you receive other scholarships.
If you are concerned about the cost for college, you should plan ahead carefully. Start saving money before you leave high school. Choose a cost effective university or vocational school with the best degree program, apply for financial aid and scholarships, take college classes in high school and secure a good part time job.