How to Fund Your Education
Common Costs of Attending College
One of the first steps to funding your education is to learn about a few common costs:
Tuition: The cost of taking courses.
Room and Board: An allowance for the cost of housing and food while attending college or a career school.
Books and School Supplies: Books can be expensive. School supplies may include back packs, notebooks, writing materials, and class supplies such as folders and special lab supplies
Fees: Other mandatory expenses such as lab fees. Course costs vary by school. Make sure colleges and career schools give you a clear statement of their tuition and fees.
Equipment and Room Materials: These may include a computer and printer, reading lamps, a microwave, refrigerator, sheets, towels, etc.
Travel and Miscellaneous Costs: If you commute to school, include transportation costs. If you live on campus, include travel during school breaks. You may also want to include clothing and mobile phone costs.
Keep Costs to a Minimum
How can you keep these costs to a minimum? Below are suggestions on how you might reduce your college expenses. Follow up with colleges or career schools to get additional details.
- Set a budget and stick to it! Check out this budget calculator.
- Research all schools that may meet your academic and financial needs.
- To find aviation colleges or career schools use our interactive career tool or program search.
- Get school credit based on your knowledge (dual credit courses) or life experiences (internships, prior military experience) to reduce costs.
- Look into discounts on tuition your school may offer if you:
- are a child of an alumnus or alumna (i.e., if your parent went to the school)
- are a student government leader or the editor of the college newspaper or
- or your family’s main wage earner is unemployed
- or a member of your family works at the school
- live with your parents or other family member
- consider sharing a house or apartment with multiple housemates
- carpool to save on gas and parking
Most colleges and universities even sponsor resident advisor programs that offer reduced tuition or reduced room and board costs if you work in a residence hall.
Funding Your Education
For many people, funding their education is possible because they apply for scholarships and grants. Another option to help fund your education is to seek financial support from parents and family members or see if you qualify for Federal Student Loans by completing a Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA).
- The Federal Work-Study Program provides an opportunity to earn money while going to school. Ask schools if they participate in the program.
- Cooperative education programs allow students to alternate between working full-time and studying full-time.
- Most schools have placement offices that help students find employment and personnel offices that hire students to work on campus.
- Reduce your housing costs:
- You can work part-time to pay part of your costs. Be sure your work and school schedules don’t conflict and that you have enough time for studying. Here are a couple of options:
Other great ways to lower the overall cost of your training and education is to start at a 2-year college and progress towards a 4-year university (if it benefits your training and education goals). To get a better idea of costs to attend a Texas 2-year college or 4-year university near you, check out College for All Texans’ webpage listing college costs.
Sources: Department of Education, NCTCOG, College for All Texans
If you need help paying for college or career school, the office of Federal Student Aid can assist you with getting the money you need. View this video to learn about grants, loans, and work-study jobs and how they can help fund your education.