The recent tuition increases at Iowa State have made the challenging proposition of paying for school a little more difficult, especially for out-of-state students. The 4 percent tuition increase will see out-of-state tuition become nearly $24,000.

College is certainly an expensive undertaking.

Many students rely on scholarships to ease the financial burden. Iowa State has a website on their admissions page that can help calculate what scholarships you are eligible for based on metrics like grade point average (GPA), ACT/ SAT scores, and your major.

I know many students who went to college on a full ride. However, these were also the students who took Advanced Placement classes, got almost a perfect score on the ACT/SAT, and had an outstanding GPA.

One regret I have is that I didn’t take my high school GPA seriously. Showing that you have the drive to work hard makes you a good candidate for scholarships.

Iowa State also has a great work study program. Work study programs involve the school further assisting students beyond any grants or scholarships by hiring them for various jobs, like helping in the dining halls or working in a call center. The rates for these jobs average between $8 to $13.

Doing these jobs part time could slowly but surely help pay for tuition, books, food and everything else.

Another way you can help pay for tuition is getting a job while in high school. Especially during the summers, students can work full time jobs and get a good amount of money saved up.

If some or none of these things are something that fits you, but you still plan on going to college, there is always the option to get a student loan through the federal government or a bank. The downside to this option is that it is a loan — the lender expects repayment.

There are plenty of cautionary tales, where unfortunate people have been paying back their student loans for up to 40 years.

In the end, it is up to you, but there are many options for students to pay their way through school.

You can begin saving for college in high school, or work hard in high school and hope the college of your choice rewards you with scholarships. Any of the ways I listed above are great options to ensure that you start your college career with one less thing to worry about.

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