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How to Reduce the Cost of Tuition: Scholarships and More August 11, 2021

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There’s a saying that goes “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”. Sadly, there’s no such thing as free education either.

Tuition is one thing you can count on when pursuing any sort of post-secondary education.

A lot of students see the tuition costs of the school or program of their dreams and they give up. They see that dollar amount and think there is no way they can afford to attend their dream school or pursue their dream career.

Today, we’re going to cover how you can save on your tuition costs without grants or federal funding. If you’re down in the dumps about not being able to afford your dream school, read on to learn about some solutions that may help.

Funding Sources

There are a wide variety of viable sources to get money for college tuition. You can apply for tuition scholarships, use private funding from lending institutions and banks, and even take some savvy steps to reduce the cost of your tuition.

People will hear the word scholarship and automatically think they need to have a 5.0 out of 4 GPA. That’s not true. You can get scholarships from other organizations and for other interests besides your grades.

Any extracurriculars you’ve done or organizations you’ve worked with, can be a potential source of funding for college tuition and expenses. This is especially true if you are pursuing a vocation, like cosmetology, cooking, or auto mechanics.

If you have your heart set on your chosen career path, and you’ve already started to work with organizations in that field, chances are you’ll have some good opportunities for funding when it comes time for college or post-secondary education.

It’s on Uncle Sam

Every spring millions of Americans receive their IRS tax refund. For many Americans, that amount can be thousands of dollars.

If you’re attending an in-state school or vocational program, this should cover a good portion of your tuition, books, other supplies, and fees.

You can also explore some of the tax credits available for tuition costs.

Cosmetology or Beauty Scholarships

Students that have an interest in enrolling in one of the cosmetology and beauty programs we offer at TSPA have a variety of scholarship programs to choose from. Companies and organizations within the industry, as well as community organizations, offer money to further education in this field.

Notable beauty companies like Redken and OPI will offer scholarships or grants to students getting a beauty or cosmetology education. In addition, organizations based around community outreach and civil liberties will also offer scholarship money.

Hispanic students, women, and African-American students can all apply for specialized grants and scholarship money. These programs are available thanks to organizations like the United Negro College Fund, NAACP, CASS, the Soroptimist Women’s Achievement Award, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Gates Millennium Scholars Program, and The American Health and Beauty Aids Institute (AHBAI).

Your Current Job

Certain large companies will offer tuition reimbursement programs to their employees. These programs can offer partial or full reimbursement, and this may depend on the classes you’re taking.

Some employers will only provide funding if you pursue education within their industry or if it will help them fill a necessary position within the company. For other employers, it doesn’t matter. They will offer reimbursement for any type of post-secondary education.

It’s important to check what exactly is offered by your current employer. You can review your benefits yourself or talk with your company’s HR department to get a better idea of exactly what’s covered.

Student Loans

It’s important to distinguish between the two types of student loans you can receive. The most common loans are through the government.

These loans give you funding for school and do not require repayment until you graduate. Upon graduation, however, the repayment term can be ten years or more.

Another source of student loans is through private institutions, like banks or lending companies. While loans from a private financial institution are a great option, they work a little differently than government loans. You will still be required to make interest-only payments while in school, and you may need to supply collateral or have a co-signer on your application.

All that being said, however, some of these private loans can work out better than traditional financial aid. You can have most of your costs of education covered, and end up with a lower payment than standard government loans or aid programs.

A great option to look into is Climb Credit. The interest rates Climb offers are lower than that of typical financial aid. And your payments will be low enough to cover while you’re attending school.

Crack Open the Piggy Bank

Another source of funding for your college tuition is your own savings. If you have a tax-free savings account or retirement savings plan, these can be great options to pull money from for your education.

You may want to talk to your accountant or a financial professional when going this route. There could be consequences for using money from one of these accounts, so it’s important to make sure all of your ducks are in a row.

A financial professional can help you consider all of the options you have for withdrawing money from your account. They can also help you to avoid any negative tax consequences, and help inform you of all the requirements necessary to use these funds properly.

Estate Planning

Many parents plan their finances with the intent to leave something to their children when they pass. A lot of times, though, this money could have been put to better use if the children had received it earlier on in life.

If your parents are planning on setting money aside for you as part of their estate planning, it may be beneficial to use that money now for your schooling instead. You’ll need to talk to your parents about wanting to go back to school and weigh out all of the different options you have to cover your education expenses.

If it makes the most sense for you, and your parents, then it might be a good idea to put that money to use now rather than hold onto it until you’re further along in life. Every family is different, which is why it requires thoughtful conversations with your parents to see which solution works best for everyone. 

It can be a tough conversation to have, so a good way to break the ice may be to show them this article. Let them know you’ve been reading up and doing your research. It will be an easier subject to broach if your parents know you are serious about pursuing further education for your chosen career.

Go With What You Know

Experience is one of the best cost-saving strategies when it comes to pursuing your education. If you choose to pursue an education in the field you’re currently in or a field you already know about, you can cut down the costs of your education.

Even if you don’t like the field you’re in currently, this could still be an option for you. No matter the career you’re in, there is no doubt you are building up knowledge and skills that can be used in another field.

With a little more education, combined with your current skills, you could open yourself up to a hybrid field that you didn’t even know existed!

Spread Out Payments

Once you decide to move forward with your education, take a look at your payment schedule. Also, take a look at your own schedule and see if you can squeeze in a job to help pay for your education.

Even if it’s only a part-time job, any amount can help to pay for your education. 

In addition to working, you can also take advantage of the pay-as-you-go structure of most education programs. When you enroll, most educational institutions offer a payment program that allows you to spread out your costs over a longer period of time.

Even if you are working with a school that wants payment up-front, you can still ask them about a payment plan. More times than not, the school will work with you to divide the lump sum into smaller, more manageable payments.

It’s also important to mention that you should do your research and make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for. Education costs a pretty penny these days. When you’re spending that much money, you owe it to yourself to make sure you’re getting all the bang for your buck that you can.

Money, Money, Money Toward Tuition

We hope now you have a better idea of where to turn to start pursuing your dream career. You can learn more with some of the resources found on our blog, but we would love to help you in any way we can.

If you’re interested in attending one of the programs at The Salon Professional Academy in Appleton and are looking into ways to save on tuition, contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you soon, and we can’t wait to see you on campus!

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