Unfortunately up until now, not every person has been blessed with the privilege of education. High tuition fees have meant that only a relatively small amount of people have been granted the opportunity to earn a diploma (or in some cases, even a high school education.) Fortunately, there are options these days for those in tough economic situations who realize the opportunities education can offer them and have a passion for learning. Here are some options for those interested in acquiring a quality education, but don’t have the finances available for standard ‘brick and mortar’ university tuition fees.
Study for free online
Earning a degree or diploma for free online is a wonderful option for those wanting to study on a tight budget. Studying online may have once been frowned upon, (in terms of legitimacy and quality), but thanks to advancements in technology, and the acknowledgement of the need for quality online education, that has completely changed. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are online courses that cover all kinds of subjects. Many professors from highly regarded universities have donated their reading materials and resources to make this possible and people are given the opportunity to study individual courses that interest them for free. The MOOCs concept was established in 2012. Unfortunately, in most cases one cannot earn a degree from MOOCs (as the majority allow you to only take individual courses) but you may get some kind of certificate or diploma at the end of each course, providing you pay a nominal fee. Alternatively, if you’re interested in undertaking a full degree program online, University of the People is another option. It is the world’s first tuition-free, online, accredited college/university that offers associate and bachelor degrees in Computer Science and Business Administration (with more on the way.) UoPeople has forged partnerships with New York University and there are no tuition-fees to ensure access for everyone. There is a nominal assessment fee for each exam ($100) meaning one can earn their degree after 4 years of study for $4000 and classes are kept small to ensure personalized attention (unlike with MOOCs.) Whichever option you may choose, studying online is not only budget friendly, it’s also an extremely convenient option for those wanting to earn a quality degree.
Apply for a scholarship
Fortunately, for those who cannot afford to pay university processing fees, there are scholarships available at almost all universities. Scholarships are usually given on a financial needs basis, but they can also be given to exceptionally performing students, or international students. Most traditional ‘brick and mortar’ universities as well as online universities offer scholarships for those who may need. Knowledge is key; go on the university’s website that you’re interested in studying at, and try to find more information about the options available. After all – your education is too important to be complacent!
Start a crowdfunding campaign
An exciting trend has been gaining a huge amount of popularity lately. Crowdfunding campaigns (such as those created through Indiegogo) have taken the world by storm. People are able to request funds for new businesses, inventions etc. explaining exactly why they need it, and then share it with the world. Recently, some have been using it to raise money to attend university (be it online, or in the traditional setting) and it has turned out to be a very effective way to cover degree expenses, opening doors for many who would’ve otherwise not been given the opportunity. Whilst non- profit universities such as University of The People offer scholarships, due to the rapid growth of the university, there aren’t always scholarships available for everyone. Because of this, a student from Bangladesh recently took it upon himself to raise money for his university fees on Indiegogo in order to chase his dream of earning a degree. This is certainly a very creative way to earn a degree ‘on a budget’ if proven to be successful. Getting your message out there to the masses creates compassion – you’d be surprised how many people would be willing to help if they were given the opportunity!
Earning a degree from an accredited college/university should not mean that you’re placed in financial stress. Education should be celebrated and not feared. It should be affordable and accessible to everyone, despite socio-economic barriers. Fortunately, there are options for those wanting to earn a degree on a budget, and hopefully in years to come the opportunities will only multiply.