Higher Education Today - Getting It And Paying For It
The cost of higher education has grown to astronomical numbers these days, partly because it's so much more expensive to run a university and partly because the government has reduced the share of the cost it's willing to cover. But you can still get a good education from a university, if you don't mind shopping around. Community Colleges Your local community college system is the cheapest way to get a formal education at least to an associate's level. They can provide all the basic courses that are required by your state for a degree in most things you're interested in. And the price is great - since you're probably a resident of the state, you get reduced resident rates, you live at home, and you get the same education you'd get at a larger more expensive university. If you just take community college courses up through your sophomore year, you can save a lot of money - and, if you maintain communication with your academic advisor, all the courses you take at your community college will be transferable to a university when the college no longer satisfies your needs. Online Higher Education Places like the University of Phoenix can offer a cost-effective and convenient way for you to get an excellent education on your own schedule, not the university. If you have a job already and just need to get the degree to move up or to get a better job, online education might be your best bet. Make certain the university is an accredited university - and check the accreditation. If you're not sure, apply for federal financial aid (whether you're going to use it or not). If the feds say they won't help pay for it, then it's probably not an accredited school. Searching for Higher Education Scholarships Even if you're fifty and filthy rich, there may be scholarship money out there for you. There are scholarships for people of different ancestries: African, Native American, Irish, German, and Swedish. There are scholarships sponsored by companies for their employees and the children of their employees. There are scholarships for ex-military, for cops, for people who want to get a nursing degree. Get in touch with a financial aid counselor at the school you're interested in and ask him or her about finding a scholarship. If they don't know of one, they can put you in touch with search companies who can find one for you. Don't forget to ask your employer, your spouse's employer, and any social organizations you belong to such as the FOP; you might be pleasantly surprised. Financial Aid for Higher Education If your chosen higher education institute is accredited, you can probably get federal and possibly state financial aid to help pay for it. Speak with a financial aid counselor about applications, your options, and how you can maximize your chances of assistance. Mix and Match. Just because you started with the community college doesn't mean you can't move on to the University of Phoenix. And if you get a scholarship, you can get two, three, or federal financial aid, even if you're a nontraditional (translation: older) student. Don't give up if you don't get what you want right away. Keep trying, and always believe that you deserve the education you want to get.
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