How to pay for college when money is tight

If costs are threatening your college dreams, Stephanie Feucht has some tips you need.

Feucht manages the financial aid gurus at NWTC and has seen what helps students afford college--even when a degree and a high-paying career may seem out of reach. 

1. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

"FAFSA would be number one," she says. "Always start there." Even if you don't think you would qualify, filling out the FAFSA could make a big difference. Nationwide, millions of students who qualify for Pell grants--free aid that you don't have to pay back--miss out because they don't fill out the FAFSA.

PRO TIP: Apply as early as possible, so you will be considered for state financial aid as well.

IMG_8665-machining-masked-horiz-for-blog.jpg2. Spread out your payments interest-free.

"Payment Plans are an option. You can even charge books to the payment plan." The NWTC payment plan allows students to spread out college costs without paying interest, which can make tuition and fees more manageable.

3. Apply for scholarships.

"Some people think scholarships are only for students with high grades. Most NWTC scholarships are there to help students attend college who might not otherwise make it." The NWTC Educational Foundation has heard from many students that their degree was made possible by scholarship help from one of NWTC's wonderful donors.

4. If you had reduced income in 2020, reach out.

If your income this year was especially low, reach out to Financial Aid and Student Support Services. Sometimes the experts can find solutions when students experience job loss or unexpected emergencies, like those affecting many Wisconsin families.

For contact information and more ways to make college affordable, like credit for prior learning, apprenticeships and credit transfer, visit  

Stephanie Feucht - Manager, Financial Aid

About the Expert

Stephanie Feucht - Manager, Financial Aid

Stephanie Feucht is Financial Aid Manager at NWTC and is committed to helping students succeed in college and #SoarHigher in their future.