More than 180,000 students in New Zealand apply for colleges and universities each year. And you can bet that every single one of them has one question in their minds: “How do I pay for my college education?” This question has many answers that depend on the individual needs of each student.
However, if you are like most students, this question will likely confuse you and reconsider your plans of studying in your dream college. But you don’t have to give up on your academic goals just yet. Listed below are some ways students can sort out their financial woes and make their educational journey a bit easier.
Below are the 7 Ways To Make Paying For College Easier
Take out a student loan:
Roughly 80 percent of college students in New Zealand utilize this option to pay for their education. But loans have to be taken out with due consideration and proper research because of their interest rates. Federal loans generally have more benefits than private loans. That said, some private lenders offer rates that trump those the government gives.
So be sure to scour the internet for all options at your disposal. New Zealanders can visit websites such as https://nectar.co.nz/personal-loan-college-help/ and find answers to all relevant questions before taking out educational loans. According to a report, 144,705 students took out loans under student loan schemes from January to September 2021. But taking out loans should always merit proper research. A pro tip is to aim for loans that offer low-interest rates and flexible repayment options.
Apply for federal grants and scholarships:
You can avail of federal grants and scholarships if you meet the eligibility criteria. Usually, these criteria involve meeting certain academic requirements and choosing specific places to study. The government offers up to NZ$10,000 for undergrad students and NZ$5,000 for postgrad students, so apply to every scholarship you are eligible for to maximize your chances of success.
Start your search earlier, get in touch with your guidance counselor, and shortlist potential scholarships you can apply for once you graduate. Here are a few good options to help you jumpstart your research:
- University of Auckland ADB Scholarship
- University of Waikato International Excellence Scholarship
- Victoria University of Wellington Tongarewa Scholarship
- Canterbury Chemeca Trust Fund
- Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan
- Helen Macmillan Brown Bursaries
- UC Product Design Scholarship
- Mercer Memorial Scholarship
- Sir Neil Isaac Scholarship
Choose a reasonable university:
Paying your tuition fees becomes easier when you go to a reasonably-priced university. More students are now opting to start at a community college or a technical school before moving to their dream university.
However, if you want to apply for a regular four-year program, look for one with options for student aid such as low dorm rents and low degree credit prices. Come up with a plan that includes scholarships and out-of-pocket payments to be fully prepared and compare them with colleges in your area. Here are some of the most cost-effective universities in New Zealand in 2022 (ranked by tuition costs):
- University of Auckland
- University of Canterbury
- Lincoln University
- Auckland University of Tech
- Massey University
Apply for work-study programs:
A college work-study job is a great option for students looking to gain experience and get paid. It provides valuable job experience, the income to sustain you through your education, and potentially useful connections for future employment.
You can apply for a work-study program through the government’s website. “Work-study” will be listed on your financial aid application if you qualify. Keep in mind, though, that just because you qualify does not mean you get the grant money. You will have to find a work-study program in your university and work the required hours to earn your reward money.
Choose trade over a four-year degree program:
As mentioned above, more students are opting to go the community college route instead of a four-year degree such as a trade school. Many trade schools allow you to learn a marketable skill without tuition and start working. Some schools will also pay you to learn a skill through an apprenticeship program. According to a report, the average pay rate for an apprenticeship program is NZ$15 per hour.
If you want to learn more, look for trade schools in your area that might offer an apprenticeship program. Some common apprenticeships include plumbing, pipefitting, woodworking, and ironwork. You can use these skills to get part-time work and fund your education.
Use your savings:
A good habit for many students is to start a part-time job while in high school. Think of it as a savings plan for your college tuition because if nothing else works, the money you earn and save will come in handy.
Start saving early. By the time you start applying for college, you will have a good amount saved up for any eventualities. Realistically speaking, you will have to tap into your savings even with grant money and scholarships. This can come in handy for room payments, food and drink, and other college-related expenses.
Get creative with crowdfunding and freelancing:
Last but not least, get creative. Many students have successfully paid for their college tuition by using crowdfunding sites (GoFundMe being the most popular) or working on a side project to pay for tuition. Or, you could get creative and start monetizing your talent with any of these options:
- YouTube Videos
- Blog/Content Writing
- Affiliate marketing
If you have a skill, you might want to try working on a side hustle and build your brand because it may become a potential business venture down the road!
Over 43,000 New Zealanders graduate from local universities each year. 90% of these students obtain an undergraduate degree or higher. So, don’t let financial constraints foil your plans of obtaining a higher education. This article mentions some tips you can use to make paying for college tuition easier. While it’s smart to leverage scholarships and loans, you can make some decent bucks on the side if you’re talented enough. Use these tips and your skills to study and land the career of your dreams.