Paying for College With High School Savings or a Gap Year of Work

If you are struggling to pay for college or still in the high school planning stage, take a step back and consider other possibilities besides student loans. Student loans are great for the time being, but repaying them later can be a struggle. Instead, consider paying for college with savings you accumulate during high school, or doing a gap year of work.

For students who are still in high school, you have the opportunity to find a part-time job now and help to pay off at least part of the tuition bill that will be coming your way in a few years. You can also investigate other options; starting a business is another great way to put your time in high school to good use.

If you are nearly finished high school or have already graduated, consider taking a gap year to work. This is becoming a more popular option for students who don't feel ready to enter college yet, aren't sure what they want to take, or need to save up money first. There are plenty of things the working world can teach you that you will never learn in a classroom, so the gap year may actually be more beneficial than you think. It isn't really an interruption in your education.

Advantages of a gap year include the added experience that will help you get more out of college once you attend, and the increased opportunities you will find available to you. Some students choose to teach abroad, go on a working holiday to another country, or travel during their gap year. These experiences will broaden your mind while helping you to save up for college later.

Disadvantages of a gap year are minimal, but some colleges don't like students interrupting their education. (It should be mentioned that others actually look favorably upon this, however.) This may also hinder you if you find it hard to get back into the academic routine after a break. You may end up discovering the career of your dreams and getting into it without going to college at all, which could be either an advantage or disadvantage, depending on how you look at it.

You can get a job, either in high school or through a gap year, by searching the paper and internet for advertisements, getting help to write a knockout resume and cover letter that is personalized for each job, and being persistent. Above all else, showing persistence (without being annoying) and maturity will help you in the job search when you don't have previous employment experience.

Continuing with a job in college is another option if you haven't saved enough money to fully pay tuition by the time you graduate or by the end of your gap year, or if you enjoy working. This will certainly help lighten the financial strain you might experience.

Paying for college with savings from high school jobs or a gap year of work can certainly work if you plan carefully and make sure to be ready for some difficulties transitioning into college after the workplace environment.

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