A GUIDE ABOUT FINANCING YOUR US UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM
A successful academic career paves path for a successful future. It’s just your hard word that arms you with the knowledge, skills, and expertise to go out in the field and face the world. Education is the most powerful tool that one can use to shape their future and make the world a better place. But all is not a bed of roses; as we enter the practical life, we soon discover that ‘money’ makes the world go around. This means that even your academic dreams require to be funded accordingly.
We understand that this statement alone may have broken some hearts, but we feel it is our responsibility to inform our readers of the hard, cold, and bitter truth out in this world. With that, we also take giving hope as a part of our responsibility and provide solutions to students who have the heart and hopes of furthering the world by contributing to it academically and then professionally. We salute those brave and courageous youngsters with passion brighter than the sun and hopes higher than the Everest itself.
So let’s have a look at how an undergrad student can finance their studies. We are listing down the best and the most practical methods almost anyone can utilize. Although some of them have specific criteria to meet, but most of them are versatile in practicality.
This is perhaps the most commonly known and easily accessible form of financial aid. There are different types of scholarships which can be availed if you fit in the eligibility criteria for them. These include:
- Merit-Based Scholarships – For academic overachievers who fall short on meeting the financial requirements for their graduation.
- Sports-Based Scholarships – These are for those who are athletically gifted and prove to be an athletic asset for an institute.
- Targeted Scholarships – They vary in their criteria and requirements.
- Scholarships from independent organizations (local and international) – These scholarships are offered to students who have performed exceptionally throughout their career. They are also offered to students who wish to study abroad.
To avail a scholarship, a student must first check whether they meet the eligibility criteria and apply afterwards.
2. Financial Grant:
A financial grant is somewhat similar to a scholarship, except there is a catch. Depending on the circumstances and criteria, you may:
- Have to pay back nothing.
- May have to pay a small portion of it back (less than 50%).
- May have to pay back half of it.
- May have to pay back the entire amount.
The last case is quite rare and most of the times, students don’t have to pay back anything. In the United States, following are the types of grants that students can avail by applying:
- Federal Pell Grants.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).
- Afghanistan and Iraq Service Grant.
- Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant.
The grants are subjected to the financial needs of the students and are granted upon fulfillment of the criteria.
3. Student Loan Programs:
Majority of the students have to resort to this option despite it being the least favorite yet the most popular one. This means that the borrowed amount must be paid back with interest. Following are the types of loans offered to students in the form of financial Aid:
- Consolidation Loan.
- Private Student Loans.
The federal Loan Programs are regulated by two distribution channels:
- Federal Direct Student Loan Program.
- Federal Family Education Loan Program.
Just like with other forms of financial aids, they also need to be applied to and not necessarily every application is approved.
4. Part-Time Job/Study:
This option is also available when all else fails. You can enroll in a community college or part-time program while working for the rest. This way, you can enjoy financial freedom while also furthering your academic career.
5. Family Support:
Desperate times call for desperate measures. When you have no other option left, you still have your family. Ask your parents or immediate family if they can support your academics while you work and study to support yourself. Not the best option but it’s worth a try.
And there you have it; the best tried and tested methods to finance your undergraduate program. We hope you will find this piece useful as we have intended for it to be. We wish you success in your academic career and in your future.