As a former athlete you are in the process of reinventing yourself.
Unlike when you were an athlete, you are kind of on your own now. You have to figure out much of this new chapter by yourself, and you can! There are plenty of helpful tools out there to help you get where you want to go.
For many, part of the process is going back to school, either to finish that degree, or to earn a second. Either way, you should brace yourself for a little sticker-shock as you look into the price of tuition.
If you have been able to tuck away a million bucks, tuition might not be too scary for you. But, for most people, the cost of school is a major obstacle to deal with. The good news is that there are plenty of tools to help you get that degree.
Financial aid is what you are looking for. Financial aid comes in four main categories: loans, grants, work-study and scholarships.
You are probably well-acquainted with athletic scholarships. And, while your opportunity for an athletic scholarship is gone, it doesn’t mean that you can’t qualify for other scholarships – there are tons of them. Ask your academic counselor for ideas.
Grants are the best place to start. A grant is an amount of money that is allotted to your account that, wait for it… you don’t have to pay back. Grants come in many forms but the two most common are state or federal (Pell).
Student loans offered by the government are the best way for you to borrow money for school. The interest rates are very low and you don’t have to start paying them back until you are finished with school.
Most schools offer work-study programs. Essentially, you work for a specific department on your campus and rather than receive a paycheck, your earnings are applied to your tuition bill. If you are loose with your money, this is a smart option.
All of these tools are available to you and are easy to access. Don’t let the cost of tuition slow you down.