The Most Common Financial Hurdles For College Students

by Leon on January 24, 2013

You might think that getting into the ivory tower of learning is difficult, what with the vast number of students vying for only limited admissions. But just wait until you see the bill. While some students are lucky enough to have parents who can pay their way and others have the mad skills to nab them a scholarship for partial or full tuition (and even additional expenses, in some cases), far more find themselves on the hook for a lion’s share of the costs associated with seeking a higher education and earning a degree (which generally amounts to thousands of dollars each year). This can leave the average collegian facing some major hurdles when it comes to finances. But armed with the knowledge of what to expect you may be better prepared to face and overcome these challenges. So here are some of the most common financial problems that students face.

The main issue for many students stems from a marked inability to earn the money that would help them to cover expenses. In addition to the obvious cost of tuition and books, you may also have to pay for expenses like lodgings, food, and other extras. Of course, if you choose a school that is close to home you may be able to save quite a bit by continuing to live with your parents. Even if they can’t afford to offer you cash contributions they can almost certainly help you to save some money by giving you free room and board. But many students don’t have this option because they end up at a campus that is far from home.

In this case you will almost certainly want to work in order to mitigate some costs, but you’ll no doubt face a number of road blocks. First is that you must devote time to your studies. Working even a part-time job while trying to attend to a full class load is difficult to manage, and a full-time job is practically impossible. This isn’t to say that it can’t be done, but you will also face certain limitations. For one thing, the majority of classes occur during the day, leaving you with the unhappy prospect of working nights and weekends. You may be able to minimize this necessity with some careful finagling where your class schedule is concerned, but then again, you might be at the mercy of class times that leave you with little hope of a regular work schedule.

This is perhaps why so many students end up taking low-wage jobs that offer flexible schedules. However, you might also take advantage of one of many jobs in the online arena that offer you the opportunity to earn a little more money through freelance efforts like blogging, graphics, translation, tutoring, or virtual assistance, just for example, if you have the skills needed. And of course, you can also look into student loans, although these are best avoided if at all possible. If you’re going for a degree in law, engineering, or a master of nursing online, you might earn enough to repay your loans in a timely manner, but it pays to consider your job prospects and potential salary before you rack up the debt.


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