4 Ways to Pay for College

A college education is worth the investment, but paying for college may be the reason why many individuals do not attend. By no means is it cheap, but that does not make it any less important. There are many ways in which you can pay for college without that dreaded, overwhelming feeling of looming debt.

1. Always Apply for Financial Aid (even if you think you do not qualify)


Financial Aid (FAFSA) is a helpful funding program to assist students in paying for many college expenses. Luckily, many students do qualify. The online application doesn’t take too much time to complete and it’s free.

2. Apply for Grants


Grants are a great way to help pay for college. This is aid the does not need to be repaid and is often based on one’s financial need. You can apply for grants from the federal and state government.

3. Apply for Scholarships


Scholarships are a bit different than grants. Grants are need based assistance and scholarships are merit based assistance. That means it’s awarded when an achievement is met. Your college of choice will have access to all scholarships offered.

4. Work While in School to Help Cover the Costs


Working while earning your degree is a great way to help pay for small college expenses. has great, affordable rates on textbooks or other items needed. If loans have been taken out, many times you can pay the interest while attending school.

If paying for college is still too much of a burden, the next best thing would be to attend a local community college. That would offset the cost at a much cheaper rate until graduation. Then complete your degree at a four year institution. Staying at home can also help, as you wouldn’t need to pay for room and board.

An Argument Against Gen-Eds

Recently in an English class, we were assigned to write an argument. I chose to argue General Education requirements. Because I have a lot of passion for this topic, and because I want a lot of you to read what I have to say, I chose to share some of my basic thoughts in this week’s blog. General Education requirements in college not only take up 2 years of your time in school, they also use up a lot of your money. College is an exciting time in most students’ lives. The strenuous schedule of required gen-ed courses can add unnecessary stress to this exciting time.  For the amount of money students pay, they should be able to choose what courses they take, what are universities doing with all of this money?  I will be focusing on a few main points including: The extra cost Gen-Eds create for students, why Gen-Eds aren’t necessary for students who have already decided a major, and the time wasted spending four years in college due to Gen-Ed courses. Allow me to begin with the extra cost Gen-Eds present for students wallets.

Just imagine if two years of school could be subtracted from your bills, we’d be saving so much money in the long run. To me, there is no sense in paying for two years of classes that have absolutely nothing to do with your major. I am currently enrolled in a theatre class and a music class. My major is broadcast journalism. Taking a theatre class when I have no interest in acting doesn’t make since to me, but it fulfills one of my gen-ed requirements. Although I have learned all about acting in this class, I will likely never pursue this field, or need any of this information. I’d rather enroll in broadcasting or journalism courses because they will actually aid me in my future career.

This brings me to my next point; Gen-Eds are unnecessary for students who have chosen a major. Many people argue that Gen-Eds create more well-rounded students. I argue that the fundamental stages in a person’s life are for becoming “well rounded”, college is for getting a degree and going to work. The overall goal of college is to gain a successful career. If a journalism major wanted to spend thousands of dollars taking art and music classes, they would have chosen to be an art or music major. Isn’t it better to be an expert on one skill than to be mediocre in many?   Focusing solely on one’s major as opposed to being distracted by gen-ed courses might help students to enter the workforce more prepared for their jobs.

Many people also believe that taking Gen-Ed courses is smart because students change their majors so often. My justification is that it wouldn’t matter if a student changed their major if they were only going to school for two years because they’d be so young, they’d technically have 2 years to spare. Because a bachelor’s degree would only require two years of school, most students could graduate by the time they were twenty years old. If a twenty year old were to change their major, they could attend two more years of school in their new major and still graduate at twenty-two. The point of a two-year bachelor degree program would be to give students who are sure on their major a head start on their chosen career.

My final reason for why Gen-Eds shouldn’t be required is that they are a waste of time. As I mentioned before, why spend four years in college when your actual major only takes two? If student could finish school in two years, (obviously this excludes doctors, lawyers, etc.) they could get two years of work under their belt.  That’s two years of making money instead of spending thousands on school. In another circumstance, if a student wanted to take a couple years after high school to work and save for college they would be able to without much set back.

I can see that Gen-Eds could be useful to students who don’t already know their major. Gen-Eds are a great source for students to explore different fields of study and to find out what interests them. Gen-Eds can also benefit students in their major later on by creating a foundation that’s easier to build on. While Gen-Eds do have their benefits, I find that the consequences of money and time outweigh those benefits. High school was a great foundation for college; I now want to move past high school and focus on my career. My hope is that enough of you will agree with me and that our numbers could make a difference. I’m assuming that all of you believe in and value higher education. I’m assuming that you all wish that you could save thousands of dollars and still achieve your bachelor’s degree. If my assumptions are correct, we need to stand together and make a change.

-Speedy G.

I’m reading Microsoft Office 2010

How Much Do You Really Know About Credit?

Imagine walking into an auto dealership with a stack of cash that you want to use to put a down payment on a car.  You have worked hard and all you need is to get the small auto loan.  Problem is that your credit score is not high enough to finance you and you have to walk out of the dealership empty handed.  This happens much to often because people are not well informed about their credit score.

Do you know your credit score? As a college student, chances are you don’t.  Credit is something that most people know nothing about until they actually need it, and many times that is too late.   Your credit score is a number that is used to judge how trustworthy you are with money.  The higher your credit score, the more trustworthy you are.  Your credit score is used for auto loans, home loans, insurance rates, leases, and even by potential employers.  Bottom line is that your credit score really matters. Fortunately, there are ways to help you establish and maintain a good credit score.

A credit score is a number that ranges from 300-850.  Anytime you borrow money, whether it is for a loan or credit card, it is reported to three credit bureaus.  The three credit bureaus are TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.  Some companies report to all three, but some only report to one or two.  Regardless, all three of your credit scores matter.  The borrowers report how much money was lended and how much and how quickly it was paid off.  The more responsible you are in paying off the money loaned to you, the higher your credit score.  Remember that you must establish credit.  In some cases, having no credit can be as detrimental as having bad credit.


Because of the Credit Card Act of 2009, anyone under 21 must have a trustworthy co-signer in order to obtain a credit card.  There was a reason that this law is in place.  It is important to truly understand credit prior to using it.  Let’s face it, freshmen aren’t the most responsible individuals.  However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot establish credit and start building your score.  Talk to your parents about opening your first credit card and make a game plan for it.  Having good credit when you leave college can be helpful in more ways than you could imagine.

As a rule of thumb, credit bureaus give the best considerations to people who spend 30% of their available credit and pay in full every month.  This means that if you have a credit card with a $300 limit, you should plan to spend no more than $100 a month and be able to pay each month’s bills in full.  If for some reason you are not able to pay your full balance, make sure and pay the minimum balance on time.  A late payment is really detrimental to your credit score.  Every time you pay a bill late, it negatively affects your score.

After learning to manage a credit card or small loan, the next step is to track and maintain your credit score.  A great way to do this is to use a credit monitoring company to view your credit report.  Online companies such as give you a free credit report from all three credit bureaus once a year.  Your credit report shows every line of open credit and how much and how often you have paid your debts.  It also shows any companies that have looked into your credit recently.  Looking at your credit report can also help you to ensure that no one has stolen your identity.  If you want to track your report and score more than once a year, you can use a program like   It costs $14.95 per month, but you are able to monitor your credit score as often as you would like.

The bottom line is that you need to be aware of your credit score.  Be smart in establishing it and seek assistance from someone who can you trust for guidance.  A credit score can affect many life changing events such as buying your own home.  Make sure to stay aware and stay smart when it comes to your credit score.



I’m reading Campbell Biology