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The majority of people desire to continue their formal education, but finding the money is a big problem. Not everyone who wants to pursue higher education has wealthy parents who can cover their living expenses and tuition. It’s not exactly simple to obtain a scholarship or bursary, either.

Another choice is to take out student loans, which you will begin paying back once you graduate. Many students experience fear when the phrase “study loan” is used. A major source of stress for aspiring undergraduate and graduate students is the worry about money. Students leave school before finishing it because of this.

There are many financial possibilities, therefore do not give up if you identify with them or feel that anxiety.

1. Scholarships

Scholarship, a form of financial aid, is awarded to deserving students and applicants. It is based on various criteria given by the donor/sponsor of the scholarship awards. Scholarships are the most common and well-known form of financial aid. There are various types of scholarships and different ways they are awarded by various organizations and individuals. Some of the common types of scholarships are outlined below:

  • Merit-based scholarships: These scholarships are awarded to deserving students based on a number of criteria, ranging from academics, achievements, hobbies, talents, and/or affiliations with various groups or careers, such as medicine or engineering. These merit-based scholarships are usually offered by the federal and state governments, large corporations or organizations, businesses, professional organizations or even the university bodies. These merit-based scholarship holders are usually exempted from tuition fees and they may be given monthly living allowances too. This type of scholarship is likely to last for a few months, probably up to nine months.
  • Sports scholarships: this is another form of scholarship awarded to students who are into sports and want to be a member of the college or university team. Most of these sports scholarships are offered by the college or university. You don’t necessarily have to be a professional or be very good at the sport you practice. Most times local sports groups or various sports organisations may offer these sports scholarships and they usually look at certain criteria before the scholarships are awarded.
  • Specific scholarships: these specific scholarships are awarded to students with certain ethnic backgrounds or affiliations. These types of scholarships are awarded to benefit a specific gender or various ethnic minorities. Examples of these types of specific scholarships are the ones awarded to only Africans, African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics or the female gender. These scholarships are also meant to help minority students pursue an education in different academic fields of their choice. Still under this category of specific scholarships, are the ones offered to students with physical disabilities, learning disabilities and debilitating health conditions. These scholarships are mainly awarded by various NGOs and organizations.

2. Grants or Bursaries

Often called need-based scholarships or gift aid. The grants or bursaries are basically money free, that is, the financial aid rendered is not to be paid back. These types of financial aid are usually based on the financial circumstances of the person who is requesting, but there may also be other factors that can be considered before been awarded the grant.

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These other factors could be the physical state or mental disabilities of the person requesting. In the US, the Department of Education offers countless federal grants to students who are attending a four-year course in colleges or universities or even career schools, for example, catering schools. Also in Germany, different types of Bursaries or grants are awarded. Each institution awarding the merit grants are to decide the number of grants to be given out and the duration as well.

3. Student Prize

Student prizes are the prize awards given to deserving students and it is usually represented by a certain amount of money. Although these may not be enough to fund your studies, it can serve as financial aid. Student prizes are a one-time award. Student prizes can be awarded for several reasons including;

  • For academic achievements
  • To reward your performance in certain examinations
  • It may also be awarded based on the results of your coursework and public examinations
  • For being the best student and getting the best paper in a subject or course
  • For rewarding an outstanding work submitted for a dissertation or thesis, as well as for overall excellent performances.

4. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is an innovative method to earn your tuition fee for college. You can start by setting up a crowdfunding account, then seek help from your family and friends to support you. You can also start a campaign to raise donations on your account. The common crowdfunding platforms include; GoFundMe and IndieGoGo.

5. Employer Training

If you are an employee and want to further your studies for master’s or postgraduate level, some companies offer a means of upskilling their workers by investing in their education. After which they come back and continue working for them. Approach your Human Resource manager at your company and find out what options your company has for such funding.  It is also becoming a trend for companies to pay back some of their employees’ student loans when they start working for them.

6. Study and Work

While you study, you can also work by taking up part-time jobs and internships to save for your education. Studying while you work is one of the most encouraging sources of financial aid, as you don’t have to struggle to get scholarships or grants. And you don’t have to pay back student loans. When looking for a job in school, you should try to find a job that is flexible, do not require you working late hours and offers a decent wage. It is an added advantage if your job allows you to learn about a field you are interested in or studying in school. Some of the jobs you can do while in school includes;

  • Apply for a paid internship in your field
  • Drive for Uber or bolt
  • Tutor in a subject you excel in or know how to tutor well
  • Freelancing
  • Babysit for families
  • Sell your old belongings you don’t use or need anymore and so on.

Everyone must make a significant financial investment to receive a high-quality education. Even if your family is paying for your tuition or you have money saved up for education. It can be demoralizing and shatter your spirit when you desire to advance your education but lack the financial resources to do so.

There are always many methods you can finance your studies, even when you don’t have money or your family can’t afford it. Taking a gap year or quitting school may seem like your only options. To cover your tuition and other school expenses, you may be successful in receiving scholarships, grants, or even by opening an account on a crowdfunding website.

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