Seniors must start looking for ways to finance college

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By Alex Mowatt-Larsen
Eagle Editorial Board

As the semester rolls on, seniors are beginning to hear from the colleges they applied to. A college degree can be very expensive, sometimes up to $50,000 per year in tuition alone.

This causes a problem for seniors because it puts many of the top schools in the nation a little out of reach. Making some extra money to have for college is a win-win situation.

One way to start is to apply for as many scholarships as you can. Many organizations offer scholarships, small and large, to students.

There are often requirements to qualify for these scholarships that do not require much work. By talking to your counselor or listening to announcements, there are many opportunities to gain some scholarships.

One of these is the St. Thomas Alumni Association scholarship, which all of us can apply for. These can decrease your tuition amount substantially if you take advantage of them.

The FAFSA application and CSS profile are government forms that you send to the colleges you have applied to. By looking at these forms, colleges decide how much financial aid they can offer you. How much financial aid you are offered has a big impact on which college you decide to attend. So if you have not done that yet, hop on those forms son.

Getting a job, however unexciting it sounds, can be the best way to make some money for yourself. Many places in Houston offer part-time jobs to high school students. Although you will most likely be making minimum wage, having a job will not only make you money but can teach you responsibility and the ability to control your checking account. I can attest to the fact that it is really hard not to go out after getting a pay check and spending all your money. But even saving up just during this summer before college can reward you with a decent wad of cash.

The fact is that college educations now are more expensive than ever before. A common misunderstanding is that the tuition is the only fee required for college, but a significant amount is added to that. What gets tacked on is room and board, meal plans and even furnishing your dorm.

So for you seniors and possibly even juniors, it might be a good idea in the next coming weeks to begin to look for ways to make some money. It will most likely make your parents really happy that you want to help them, and they may be more willing to work for you to go to the school you want to because you are just as committed to your future as they are. My advice is to go and apply for scholarships, get a job or both in order to help for your future.

The work that you put in now will pay off in the long run.

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