5 Ways to Pay for Post-Secondary Education at a Christian College
- Work, Save and Pay as You Go
- Apply for Scholarships and Grants
- Work After Graduation in a Position that Qualifies for Student Loan Forgiveness
- Work as a Missionary
- Monthly Repayment Plan
Students are finding it more challenging to pay for an education at a Christian college with each passing year. The cost of an education at a Christian college is higher than that of a supported public school. Those students who take out Federal or private education loans saddle themselves and their families with debt for years into the future. Avoiding the liability is nearly impossible for those without the wherewithal to pay the costs outright. Here are a few strategies a promising student can consider.
1. Work, Save and Pay as You Go
The traditional method of paying for post-secondary education at a Christian college is to work, save, and pay as you go. Before the invention of the Internet and the advent of online classes, this option was only available to students staying at home and attending part-time classes at a school close to home while working to pay tuition and materials costs. Online courses make it possible for students to attend college at a distance in their free time. By working their way through school, the student avoids the unpleasant reality of accumulating a debt that takes 20 years to repay.
2. Apply for Scholarships and Grants
Applying for scholarships and grants is another traditional way of paying for post-secondary education at a Christian college. Unlike the work, save, and pay as you go method, scholarships and grants allow students time to commit full-time to classes. Scholarships require a high grade point average in secondary school, so a student looking to utilize a scholarship program must work toward that goal early in their academic career. Grants are based on need and many Christian organizations set aside funds for devoted Christian students to alleviate their college costs. Be aware that these opportunities are reevaluated each year.
3. Work After Graduation in a Position that Qualifies for Student Loan Forgiveness
Most students use Federal or private student loans to pay for an education at a Christian college. For those who choose a Christian college because of a calling, there is a method of alleviating the overall debt. Federal loan forgiveness programs, as described by Cornell Law School, provide graduates the ability to remove half of their student loan debt by working in the public sector in places of need. The student is required to pay 120 months of the 240 monthly payments; then the rest is forgiven. Those working in a religious environment are not eligible for Federal loan forgiveness.
4. Work as a Missionary
More Christian organizations are recognizing the bind students experience after graduation to pay for an education at a Christian college. The churches are gradually organizing efforts to help students eliminate their student loan debt through Christian work. As described by Christianity Today, the puzzle of accumulating student loan debt to bring better skills to a poor paying position working within the Christian community with the poor and indigent is mind-boggling. Christian organizations are responding with a promise to pay student loan debt for those who work as missionaries in foreign or domestic areas where they are needed.
Related Resource: Top 10 Christian Colleges and Universities in the North
5. Monthly Repayment Plan
For those who could not work, save, and pay as they go and are unable to take advantage of scholarships, grants, or loan forgiveness programs, there is only one remaining way to pay for post-secondary education at a Christian college. Every graduate should research the options available to them to lower their monthly payments. Loan consolidation, income-based repayment, and other programs are available for a graduate to pursue and enter. Loan forgiveness is in danger as President Trump’s administration announced its intention to end those student debt relief programs. Whether or not other student debt relief programs are vulnerable is still in the air.
Attending a Christian college to answer a call is commendable. Working for your faith with those who cannot help themselves assuages the ills of a world bent on degrading those less fortunate is a cause worth pursuing. Methods to help graduates pay for post-secondary education at a Christian college are growing, but still unsubstantial.