6 Ways to Pay for College

6 Ways to Pay for College

  • by
  • Jan 19, 2021
Dollar bills

The cost of college can seem overwhelming; however, most students don't pay full price. You can pay for college using financial aid (grants, scholarships, work-study and loans) and/or personal resources (college savings accounts and other resources).


Grants are money from the state government, federal government or the college that does not need to be paid back. If you attend an Oregon college, you may be eligible for the Oregon Opportunity Grant or Oregon Promise.


Given by colleges or organizations for good grades, community service, athletic ability, or other unique personal qualities, there are countless scholarships available for students of all ages. Set aside time each week to work on applications! Remember to complete the OSAC Scholarship Application which has over 600 scholarships with just one form.


Work-study positions are part-time jobs, often on campus, to help pay for college costs.


Loans are money for college that must be paid back. In general, loans made by the federal government are better than loans from banks or other private sources since they usually have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options. Only borrow what you need!

College Savings Accounts

It’s never too early or late to start saving money for college. There are many types of college savings accounts including 529 plans that are not taxed. You may be eligible for an Individual Development Account, which matches all savings in order to earn extra money for college. Discuss your options with a bank or financial institution.

Other Resources

You may receive money from parents or family or work part-time or full-time jobs during the summer or school year. Some employers even offer tuition reimbursement. Some students may consider an apprenticeship, which helps pay for school and on-the-job training for specific trades, or the Military to help pay for college.

Originally published October 2018.