College Financing Tips

Read these great ideas for college financing from students and parents who have shared their financial aid strategy. These essays offer great tips for financing college. Many students have taken different approaches, so I encourage you to read a number of these essays to find out what might be the best solution for you, and what to avoid.

Last updated on April 14, 2024 by College Financial Aid Advice.

2014 Scholarship Winner

Robert Hernandez is the scholarship winner in our 2014 scholarship from His essay, Which College Is Right for Your Child?, was selected from over 400 entries.

Robert and his wife live in San Jose, California, and have 4 grown children.

2013 Scholarship Winner

Natalie Holifield is the scholarship winner in our 2013 scholarship from Her essay, What They Don’t Tell You about Financial Aid, was selected from almost 300 entries.

Natalie is an undergraduate student at the University of Denver in Colorado. She is majoring in sociology.

2012 Scholarship Winner

Elle Larsen is the scholarship winner in our Spring 2012 scholarship. Her essay on college financing tips, A Letter to My Siblings, was selected from almost 300 entries.

Elle is a 2012 graduate of Cretin-Derham Hall high school in St. Paul, Minnesota. She will attend the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota and plans to receive her degree in nursing. After receiving her RN, she plans to become a nurse-midwife.

College Financing Ideas

Here are some great ideas to help finance your college education, as submitted by other readers of this website.

Advanced courses in high school - Work hard in high school in those AP or IB courses, and you can skip a year of college. Read from Kyle how this can save you money. Save on College Tuition in High School

Community college option - Attend a local community college to reduce costs, and still get your 4-year degree from your favorite university. Read how Nikki did just that and learn from her experience in Use What You Got.

Work abroad - If you have graduated with student loan debt, or just want an interesting job, consider working abroad. Veronica shares how her teaching position in South Korea helped her pay off student loans. Paying off Student Loan Debt.

Scholarship advice - I received many excellent entries about college financing tips with scholarships. These offer some very good advice.

Daniel explains how not every scholarship is worth your time, so consider Applying Cost-Benefit Analysis to Application for Scholarships and Grants for College.

You will want to stay organized, so read these tips from Thomas on how to organize your College Scholarship Searches.

And don't forget that important scholarship essay. Amber shares her advice on writing just One Good Essay. We also have some very good examples of college admission essays and scholarship essays if you scroll down to the bottom of this page.

Spring 2012 Finalists in our College Financial Aid Advice Scholarship Contest

Here are the Spring 2012 finalists in our College Financial Aid Advice Scholarship Contest. The winner of our $1000 scholarship for college was Elle Larsen, for her essay A Letter to My Siblings.

These essays offer some excellent college financial aid advice. If you want to enter your essay in our next contest, see Apply Online Scholarship.

A B C D, E F G… 
Yep, you’re an adult now. You couldn’t wait. Yay! Welcome to the real world! Now get your butt in gear and get your finances in order. A. Do not …

Applying Cost-Benefit Analysis to Application for Scholarships and Grants for College 
There are plenty of resources available to high school students regarding scholarship and grants for college . I will not talk about the resources except …

Money, Money, Money. 
Financial aid for college is a topic discussed from the moment a child is born to the time they graduate, but it is a subject that affects one's …

A Letter to My Siblings 
Dear Siblings, This year you have seen all the processes I have gone through for college. You saw me writing essays last summer, submitting applications …

Use What You Got 
Community college option - When I graduated from high school, the last thing I wanted to do was attend a two year community college. Everybody knows …

Save on College Tuition in High School 
There are countless ways in which students can save money for college. One of the most efficient ways to do so is by taking AP or IB classes. These classes …

Easy Money for College 
Easy Steps to Easy Money for College - You would be surprised to know how much money is available to high school and college students . Some scholarships …

FAFSA for Hispanic Parents 
Trying to Explain the FAFSA to Hispanic Parents - Well finally my senior year is here. So many things to do and so little time to get everything done. …

What Your Parents Don't Have the Heart to Tell You 
Being accepted to college is probably one of the greatest feelings, knowing that you’ve accomplished something so memorable. Being accepted to your ‘number …

One Good Essay 
Just Trying to Make It with ONE Good Essay - It's always difficult to find scholarships that are easy to complete that give you the amount of money …

Help with Scholarships 
My Scholarship Broker: My Mother, Disabled Veteran - “Mother!” I asked, I am too busy working part-time, applying to college, completing homework assignments, …

Can I afford $160,000 worth of loans after graduating? 
College financing with loans? - Growing up, my parents lived paycheck to paycheck. They stressed the importance of college so that I would be better …

College Scholarship Searches 
Organization…Organization…Organization! (and more time to golf) - I don’t have the best organizational skills and I wish someone had given me these tips …

Free Money for College 
Cha-ching! Free Money for College on the Internet! - Believe it! It’s not a scam! There’s free money for college on the Internet! The more you look; …

Student Loan Repayment Assistance  
Student Loan Repayment Assistance - Private Loans = Starving Artist - I have always grown up without any financial help and a dream to go to college. …

Student Loan Debt Help 
Student Loan Debt Help - Although not ideal, our children will HAVE to borrow money to have college educations. Knowing this early on, my husband and …

FAFSA HINTS for Parents 
FAFSA HINTS for Parents - No one told me eighteen years ago that I would need a training manual to begin the financial aid process to send my precious …

Student Loan Debt 
Paying off Student Loan Debt - Registered Nurse/Graduate Student - I can remember the day ever so clearly. My parents and friends were in the audience …

Don't Fear the Loan Monster 
In the dark, all alone, I feared the loan monster. I sat in the corner and stared at the dark cloud above my head. He was $5500 and I really needed him …

Taking the Path Less Traveled- Working Full Time During College 
As I stared blankly at the tuition information that the University of Illinois at Chicago had sent me, I felt my heart drop to the pit of my stomach. Thirteen …

The "No Lose" Job Solution 
Volunteering – The “No Lose” Job Solution for College Financing - Our culture is saturated with the fear of a collapsing economy. This fear has merit. …

Paying Off Debt 
Paying Off Debt While Traveling the World--a Dream Come True! - After graduating a reputable private college, and amassing tremendous field experience …

I took out a Student Loan 27 years ago to complete some classes and to renew my State Teaching Certificate. I only borrowed $3,000 for the Tuition and …

Spring 2012 Finalists in our College Essay Contest

Here are the Spring 2012 outstanding college admission essays and scholarship essays submitted in our College Financial Aid Advice Scholarship Contest. These are some great essays that can help you get inspired as you write your best college essay.

Young and Free 
What would you do if you were a genius? That was the essay prompt given to my eighth grade class just one month before we hit high school. World domination, …

Social Networking in Today’s Society 
College Essay Social Media - Each day more users join in search of new friends and experiences. Seventy-three percent of all teens in America have …

Finding my X 
Personal Essay Example - Finding X, finding Y, solving for the standard equation of an ellipse. These have been the plagues of my mind ever since I …

The Story of My Life 
Life Story College Scholarship Essay Sample - Overcoming Personal Challenges - My story starts when I was twelve. On November 12, 2004 I underwent …

Bat Removal 
Law School Personal Essay - This personal essay helped me to gain admittance and a $17,000 scholarship to Albany Law School. - The tiny black eyes …

Walking the Plank 
Outstanding College Admission Essay This essay helped me gain admission to the University of Pittsburgh. Admissions later sent me an email saying that …

Personal Statement 
Scholarship Essay Sample – Personal Statement Every student experiences pressure in school, but I have faced two kinds of pressure in my life: …

Rising Out of the Depths 
My journey through the quagmire of financial aid was quite an ordeal. I became homeless when I was 18 and went on to be homeless until age 22. Throughout …

Taking the Dare 
Excellent College Admission Essay - This essay helped me get admitted to Barrett, the Honors College, the honor college at Arizona State University. …

HomeCollege Admission EssayCollege Financing


Welcome to College Financial Aid Advice, a website full of information on scholarships and grants, student loans, and other ways to save money at college.

Important Things to Do

Scholarships for 2024 - 2025 - It is never too early or too late to work on your scholarship searches. If you are part of the high school class of 2024, you should work on your scholarship and college search now. See our list of Scholarships for High School Seniors

FAFSA - The official 2024 - 2025 FAFSA is available now. FAFSA.

College Financial Aid Tips

Scholarship Lists An overview of the different types of Scholarship Money for College.

Grants Learn more about grants, the other free money for college.

Need Tuition Help? Reduce the cost of tuition with these college Tuition Assistance Programs.

Tax Credit Claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

College Savings Plans Save money for college with these College Savings Plans.

Need a Student Loan? Yes, you qualify for these college Student Loans.

Popular Scholarship Searches

Scholarships for High School Students

Scholarships for College Students

Easy Scholarships

Scholarship Contests

Weird Unknown Scholarships

Merit Based Scholarships

Scholarships for Minorities

College Scholarships for Women