The cost of tuition is rising, but it’s not the only college cost you’ll need to worry about as a student.
Room and board is another major cost regardless of whether you’re living on or off campus. Costs for a dorm room and meal plan can be as much as $9,000 per year or more depending on the school and options chosen (such as weekday-only meal plans, or a room with air conditioning or private bathroom).
Living off campus with roommates can sometimes be cheaper but this option often comes with additional expenses such as utilities and commuting.
If you are worried that you won’t have enough money to pay for room and board, read on to learn about some of your options.
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Ask for More Financial Aid
When going through the financial aid process, make sure your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is filled out correctly and completely. This will make sure you don’t miss out on any financial aid that you are eligible for from the government like Pell Grants.
You can also contact your school’s financial aid department to see if there are any other options that might be available.
Apply for Housing Assistance Grants and Scholarships
Another option to consider, though somewhat rare, is room and board scholarships and grants. These are just what they sound like: scholarships and grants designed to help students pay for room and board.
Some of these are only offered to certain demographics or students in special situations, such as single parents putting themselves through school.
Take Out Student Loans
If you’ve already covered tuition but need extra money for room and board, the last step would be to look into student loans.
Federal student loans are typically offered as part of your financial aid package and if you already haven’t used the funds elsewhere, you can use them for room and board.
If you have already hit your federal loan limits, the next step is to look into private student loans through a bank or lender. In most cases, you’ll need good credit or a creditworthy cosigner to be approved, though there are some lenders who specialize in offering student loans for those without a cosigner.
Room and board can seem like an overwhelming cost on an already expensive education, but with some research and effort, you can find the money to cover it.
Author: Dave Rathmanner
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