Depending on the cost of the college you are going to, you could need anywhere from $12,000 to $40,000 per year. If you get into a private college, their tuition charges are higher, and you'll also need to budget for room and board. State colleges, on the other hand, charge a more affordable tuition and will give you more opportunities to find an on-campus job. This doesn't mean that you should restrict your applications to state colleges, but you should definitely think about applying to a couple of them so that you have the option of keeping your costs down. Here are a few more ways to get more funding and financial aid for college.
When you apply to colleges, you should check to see how many of their students routinely receive financial aid and what that financial aid consists of. Generally, students get a package that consists of a scholarship, a loan, and a campus job. This package doesn't always cover the entirety of tuition and living expenses, but it should at least cover about half of it. Many colleges give more financial aid to incoming freshmen but not to transfer students. So it helps if you apply as a freshman, but you may still be able to get any college credits you have transferred in later.
Negotiating Financial Aid
What a lot of students don't realize is that the financial aid package they've received is not a hundred percent final. You can still negotiate with the Financial Aid Office or the head of the department of the subject in which you're majoring. If you're a good student and only need a 25% bump in your scholarship to enable you to stay enrolled, it's quite likely that the school will give it to you. You just need to talk to the people in the financial aid office or in your department and let them know your situation.
Getting a Staff Job
A lot of people don't realize it but if you're on the staff of a certain college, you get free tuition. It may be too difficult for you to work a full-time staff job and also study at the same time, but there are often part-time staff jobs available as well, with the same perks. Keep an eye on the "careers" section of the college's website, and keep applying for any part-time staff jobs that come up. The added benefit of getting one of these is that you might also qualify for health benefits.
Working with Your Department
Some people don't know what they're going to major in when they go to college, but others do. If you have a good idea what you're going to end up majoring in, then you need to start developing relationships with professors and other people who work in that department. You can often get much better paying jobs working with professors or working with your department than when you just work in the cafeteria. The added bonus is that you'll get to work in a field that you like and it will look good on your resume.
Become an RA
Resident Assistants are people who are assigned the job of making sure that things run smoothly in the residence halls. There might be one resident assistant for each residence hall in the college or if the residence halls are big, then they might have one RA per floor. Either way, there are many advantages to taking on this job such as free or subsidized housing. You have the responsibility of running residence hall meetings, making sure that residence hall rules are followed, and making sure that people's residential needs are met. But if you're up for the responsibility, then this can help you save quite a bit of money when you go to college.
You'll find that there are many opportunities for you to find the funding or financial aid necessary to pay your tuition and living expenses. Keep an eye out for these and apply to as many opportunities as possible to make sure that at least one or two of them come your way.