How Can I Afford College?

student sitting by wolf statue

Money is a huge factor in the college decision for many prospective students. In fact, one of my biggest concerns when deciding which college to go to was “How can I afford college?” Luckily for me, Northern has made paying my tuition extremely easy.

One of the easiest ways I pay for college is by filling out the FAFSA. In fact, taking the time to fill out your FAFSA is one of the most important steps to take in figuring out how to pay for college. Not to mention it is also the only way to receive federal aid to help with college expenses. By filling out your FAFSA you will see what federal grants, work-study and loans you are eligible for. If you’re like me, you may be surprised by just how much aid you are eligible to receive.

Another easy way that I pay for college is through scholarships. As a member of TRIO SSS, I am eligible for the TRIO SSS Scholarship, which amounts anywhere from $700 to 1,500 per semester. Another great scholarship offered by Northern is the WolfPACT Scholarship. With this award, you can gain anywhere from $4,000 to $12,000 over the course of four years. Both of these scholarships have helped me immensely when it comes to paying my tuition. By knowing what types of scholarships are available and applying for them, you can greatly decrease the cost of your tuition. Thankfully, Northern’s website makes it extremely easy to find and apply for scholarships that you may be eligible for.  

Lastly, an important factor in paying for college is not only paying for your tuition but also paying for your lifestyle as well. Things like food, entertainment and other monthly expenses all play a role in our college expenses. Northern offers a variety of work-study/student labor jobs that can help students afford their lifestyles. Work-study and student labor jobs are convenient in that they are often very flexible and accommodating to class schedules, which is a must for college students. Also, a work-study/student labor job will offer valuable experience that will greatly benefit you when you join the workforce. I know that for me, my job as the TRIO SSS office assistant has taught me many skills, such as time management and organization, which will greatly help me in my future career.

By utilizing my financial aid, scholarships and work-study/student labor job, the question of “How can I afford college?” is no longer so hard to answer.


Olivia Christensen, NSU student