5 Ways to Finance a College Degree

Written by

Alyssa Goulet


February 10, 2018


5 ways to finance a college degree

Going to college can be a great investment for anyone who wants to advance their career. That said, it is in fact, a very large expense. Financing a college degree can be challenging, and beating student debt can be even more difficult. If you are about to pursue higher education, here are five ways you can finance a college degree.

1. Grants

A grant falls under the category of “gift aid” which is a type of aid that does not need to be paid back. The US Department of Education offers grants to those attending four year, two year and career colleges based on financial need. You can determine your eligibility for this type of aid by filling out the FAFSA each year. It is important to note that each student has a cap for lifetime eligibility when it comes to federal grants. If grants are an important part of your tuition payment plan, contact your financial aid office yearly. They can help you keep track of your eligibility.

2. Loans

While paying for all of your educational expenses with loans is not recommended, they can be helpful in bridging the gap. An important thing to consider when looking at loans is the interest rate. For example, federal student loans currently have an interest rate of between 4.45% and 7%.

In addition, student loans are actually seen as good debt. “College loans help students increase their value. In theory, students who received student loans can pay their debt after entering the job market. In essence, college loans helped students improve overall; therefore, having student loan debt isn’t bad debt.” As long as you are cautious, there is no need to be avoid loans altogether.

3. Scholarships

This is another form of gift aid. You may even find that scholarships are offered to you by schools you are accepted to as part of an aid package. However, many organizations offer scholarships that you can apply for. To find a scholarship you may qualify for, you can use a scholarship search engine. For a list of hundreds of scholarships, check out our scholarship opportunities page.  Scholarships can come in any amount, sometimes even covering tuition in full. Each one has different requirements, so read the details carefully before applying.

Have you applied for the College Mouse $1,500 scholarship? Find out more and apply today

(Deadline – April 30, 2018).  

4. Employer Reimbursement

Working while in school is a great way to push extra funds towards your tuition. There are many employers that offer tuition reimbursement, even if you choose to work part time. Starbucks, Verizon, Bank of America and Wal-Mart are all examples of employers that offer this type of aid. Each of these companies have different requirements for qualification. These may include studying a certain major, or even attending a specific school. It is important that you check into these requirements before planning to rely on employer reimbursement. However, if you can meet the requirements, at some companies, it is possible to have your degree paid for in full.

5. Work Study

While work study is similar to having a part time job outside of school, this option has its advantages. When you accept a work study position, even though you are earning money, this income is not actually factored into your federal financial aid eligibility. This means that the amount of money you would receive through federal grants would not change. This option also provides you with an opportunity to network on campus, which could lead to a job placement after you complete your degree.

Looking for more information on college degrees, scholarships, careers and more? College Mouse provides content to help you make the best decisions when planning  your future. You can read more here, or sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on college and career opportunities.

Looking for career advice? Choosing a college or career is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Make sure you get all the help you need. Go to the College Mouse career directory to find a career counselor near you.

Or sign up for our upcoming Keys to Career Success course. We will walk you through the steps you need to follow as you chart your career journey – from how to narrow your career options, choose a college major and decide where to study, all the way to how to plan your job search, switch careers, and position yourself for your dream job. Click here to sign up



Written by:  Alyssa Goulet

Alyssa is a college student pursuing a Bachelor's degree from Berklee College of Music. She currently works as a freelance writer and social media marketer. When not writing, you can find Alyssa hanging out with her dog, or making a cup of tea.

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