Managing Summertime Financial Struggles

It can be hard to enjoy your summer break when you have so many different expenses and are already thinking about next semester’s bills. But there are public programs and scholarships that can help in the form of stipends and tuition assistance. Check out these tips about how to ease your financial burden.

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Try to Find a Summer Job 

If you’re not already working, finding a short term job for the summer could ease some of your financial troubles. Try starting your search on platforms that cater specifically to students. That way, you can find a range of employment opportunities that are more likely to accommodate your  schedule as a student on break. You might even be able to find a remote internship, removing the need for a commute and making your life even easier! Home/From College is one such platform where college students can find a remote or local job just for the summer. And with this new work experience added to your resume, you are simultaneously supporting yourself and inching closer to your career goals.

Search for Grants/Scholarships

If your expected FAFSA award for the upcoming school semester isn’t sufficient, you may want to consider applying for outside grants and scholarships. Check your school website to see if they are promoting any aid opportunities. You can also look on scholarship search engines, which offer a much more expansive list of local and national scholarships that you can apply to. Try Fastweb or Scholarships.com. There are literally thousands of scholarships or grants to choose from! There might be a short essay to write for some but for many of these scholarships all you have to do is meet the requirements to be entered into a lottery. And, there’s nothing stopping you from applying to as many scholarships as you want! You could win a couple hundred dollars or several thousand. This means you could be awarded enough to cover not only your summer expenses but entire semesters’ worth of tuition as well.

Get Help from Community Programs

When you’re juggling tuition fees, bills, and these outrageous gas prices, keeping your fridge fully stocked can be hard. But luckily there are ways to avoid both mile long grocery receipts and skipping meals in order to save money. If you’re experiencing food insecurity, stop by the local food donation center to pick up necessities for free. Some food banks work in conjunction with a general donation service and have a separate section where you can also pick up helpful house supplies like toilet paper and soap. Unsure of where to find a food donation location? Try the Feeding America “find your food bank” search tool. If those are too far out of your way, no need to worry, as there are many others across the nation. If you do a general search on Google for food banks in your area, a helpful community resource is sure to pop up. For example, if you live in NYC you could find a City Harvest food bank. If you’re in North or South Carolina, try Feeding the Carolinas. That way you can always have food on the table.

Apply for Governmental Assistance
If you’ve fine tuned your budget and are working part-time, but still running low on funds, look into government assistance programs. There are programs for low income individuals, people that need extra funds for familial support, and those severely impacted by Covid that need emergency assistance. Once you apply and are hopefully accepted (do prepare yourself for a bit of paperwork!) these programs usually provide the support in the form of a monthly stipend that you can use to cover housing costs, food, childcare, and any other expense that has been weighing you down. If you’re requesting help from an emergency fund, just keep in mind that those are typically one-time payments. But any little bit helps when it comes to life’s expenses, so be sure to apply to any program you fit the requirements for!