It should come as a relief that your family isn't expected to cover the whole cost of your college education. The government and the school you select will most likely help in the form of financial aid, which will reduce the amount your family must contribute. But unless you come from great wealth or are one of the rare "full ride scholars" out there, you are going to be expected to contribute as well. Here are a couple of suggestions of how you can help fund your education.
The gift of college
Instead of a new video game for your next birthday, ask your family to make a contribution to your college fund. You’d be surprised how much you can accumulate if you start early and ask relatives to help out.
Create a Scholarship
Get creative and ask friends, neighbors and relatives to contribute to your very own college scholarship fund. Whether it’s a one time contribution or you ask them to match what you’re saving, your entrepreneurial skills will no doubt impress them and may come in handy when it comes time to ask for recommendations.
Get a summer job
Summer provides a great opportunity for you to work and save money towards your education. Landscaping, fast food, retail… these businesses all need summer help so look around and apply early to ensure you’ve got a job lined up before schools out.
If your grades can handle it, consider taking on some evening or weekend work during the school year. Babysitting, tutoring, dog walking…. there are lots of part-time or hourly jobs available to help you store up cash.
Look for scholarships
There are many grants and scholarships out there that can help you meet college costs. Find out if your parents employers, church or community offers scholarships and what the requirements are to apply.
The stronger your grades are in high school, the better your chances of winning merit scholarships that can greatly reduce the costs of your education and do not require repayment.