Don't Let Money Prevent You From Going to Your First Choice College

You got into your first choice college, but the high price tag is tough to swallow. How will you come up with the amount of money you need? Not to worry - there are lots of ways to find money to pay for the school of your dreams.

View popular schools

tips on reducing college tuition

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Where to Begin?

Funding for school can come from a variety of sources, but a great starting point is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly known as FAFSA. By filling out the FAFSA, you are giving Federal Student Aid (an office of the Department of Education) the ability to determine if you qualify for federal grants, loans or work-study opportunities.

After completing your FAFSA, you can explore other ways to pay for school. Your state government, the school of your choice and private organizations are all potential sources of money.


Grants can come from the federal government, your state government or the school you plan to attend. These monies are often reserved for students who can demonstrate financial need, but might also be awarded based on academic merit or special circumstances (such as being a military veteran). Federal grant awards are based on information you report on your FAFSA. Speak with an advisor at your school's financial aid office to find out more about grants that the school might offer.

Work Study

Work-study is need-based aid provided by Federal Student Aid. This money is awarded based on your FAFSA results. Work-study programs allow you to get a paying job at the university and use that money to cover school costs.


Loans can be a great way to finance your education as long as you borrow only what you need. Your first stop to acquiring a loan is (you guessed it) Federal Student Aid. Loans from Federal Student Aid are based on your FAFSA information. You can also look into getting a loan from a private company, such as a bank. Taking out a private loan has risks that don't exist in a federal loan, though, so maximize federal opportunities first. If you take out a private loan, confirm you understand the lending terms prior to signing off on anything.


Cast a wide net when searching for scholarships. Common awards may focus on academics or demographics, but there are also unusual scholarships out there for niche interests or specific professional fields. Your completed FAFSA will be helpful when applying for scholarships - many organizations list that as an application requirement.

Get a Job

The summer before you start school is an optimal time to work as much as you can. Find a full-time job and take advantage of this time in your life when you have no academic obligations. Be frugal and save as much money as possible. Keep in mind you might need to get a part-time job while you go to school. Even a few hours a week can help with costs, like groceries or books.

Payment Programs

Just because you don't have all the money for tuition up front doesn't mean you can't attend school. Many schools have payment programs that allow you to pay over the course of the school year, rather than in one lump sum. Some schools offer installment plans, while others might offer monthly payment plans. Discuss your individual needs with a financial aid advisor at your school and find out if this option is available.

Crowd Funding

Time to think outside the box! You've asked your parents, the government and your school for money, what about asking the general public to help out, too? According to FOXBusiness, more and more students are using crowd funding as a way to get money for their education. Since there are many crowd funding sites available, make sure you understand the policies and terms of the website before signing up. Organization is key - have a plan to advertise your campaign, and know how to manage the money as it comes in.

Start at a Community College

If you still find yourself in a financial bind, there's another option - delay attendance to a 4-year school and head to a community college. The tuition at a community college is a great bargain compared to the tuition at most 4-year colleges. By paying lower tuition, you can stretch your financial aid further while completing general education classes. After two years, you'll have college credit and hopefully a bigger savings account, and you can pursue admission to your dream school.

Not sure where to go to college? Figure it out with these tips for choosing a school!

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • BA: Criminal Justice
    • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
    • BA: Liberal Studies
    • BA: Psychology
    • BA: Psychology - General
    • BS: Computer Science
    • AA: Criminal Justice
    • AA: Liberal Arts
    • AA: Business Administration
    • AA: Information Technology
    • AA: Cybersecurity

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MSHS Medical Laboratory Sciences
    • MSHS in Immunohematology and Biotechnology
    • MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences
    • MSHS in Translational Microbiology
    • MA in Education and Human Development in Secondary Special Education and Transition Services
    • MA in Education and Human Development in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
    • BSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management
    • BSHS in Medical Laboratory Sciences
    • BSHS in Biomedical Informatics

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Business Administration
    • Associate in Business Administration Management
    • Associate in Medical Assisting
    • Associate in Network Administration
    • Paralegal
    • Diploma in Accounting
    • Diploma in Business Administration
    • Diploma in Medical Office Professional
    • Diploma in Pharmacy Technician
    • Certificate in Phlebotomy
    • Diploma in Medical Billing and Coding

    What is your education level?

    • MA in Communication
    • Master of Liberal Arts
    • MA in Science Writing
    • MS in Applied Economics
    • MS in Geographic Information Systems
    • MS in Bioinformatics

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Automotive Technology
    • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
    • Electrical/Electronics

    What year did you graduate High School / Receive GED?

    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path, Executive Leader Specialization
    • Doctor of Nursing Practice
    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path
    • Master of Science in Legal Studies
    • MS in Psychology
    • MBA
    • Master of Public Health
    • MBA - Human Resources
    • MBA - Health Care Management
    • BS in Liberal Studies
    • BS in Business Administration
    • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Investment Career Focus Area
    • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
    • BS in Nutrition Science
    • BSFIN in Accelerated MS Finance
    • AAS in Business Administration - Business
    • AAS in Legal Support and Services
    • AAS in Business Administration
    • AAS in Business Admin-Office Management
    • AAS in Criminal Justice
    • AAS in Accounting
    • Medical Office Administration Certificate
    • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
    • Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate
    • Medical Billing and Coding Certificate
    • Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate
    • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Ecclesial Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Entrepreneurial Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Individualized
    • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Global Consulting
    • Master of Arts in Communication
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Political Communication
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Strategic Communication
    • Master of Arts in Government - Political Communication
    • Master of Arts in Journalism
    • Master of Arts in Law - Business
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Rhetoric and Public Culture
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Strategic Communication
    • Bachelor of Arts in English - Communication
    • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Criminal Justice
    • Bachelor of Science in Business

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Finance
    • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
    • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
    • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
    • Master of Science in Health Informatics
    • Master of Business Administration
    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder

    What is your highest level of education?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?