Are you pumped about studying abroad with Verto but not sure how to make it work financially?
If you’ve already applied for Verto’s Grants & Scholarships and are still looking for additional funding ideas, this blog is for you.
Luckily, there are loads of options out there that can help you afford a life-changing study abroad experience. Although coming up with the funds can feel like a challenge, it will be absolutely worth it when you’re eating pizza in Italy, dancing tango in Argentina, or climbing volcanoes in Costa Rica!
Earn Some Cash (and Save It!)
While fundraising and scholarships can help with a quick boost, the best, most reliable way to generate additional funds is to earn money in a job and save. The extra cash can go a long way with helping you afford study abroad, especially if you start early.
How do you actually find a job?
- Ask around. Put the word out there and let people in your life know that you’re looking for work. You never know, your teacher’s boyfriend’s cousin might be looking for a babysitter, tutor, or home organizer!
- Post flyers in your neighborhood. Anyone need a dog walker? Lawn mower? Get the word out there!
- Search online. Sites like Indeed or Simply Hired allow you to search for the term “teen” and filter job type for ‘part time’ to get relevant results.
- Go door to door. Have a favorite cafe? Stop by and see if they need any help on the weekends!
- Start your own business. You could create and sell something (like necklaces, t-shirts, stickers, and so much more) or offer your skills (for example, video editing, photography, or mural painting).
Additional tips on working and saving:
- Start early. If you’re saving for a September semester, start working in October the previous year, or earlier. The more months you can work, the more you’ll have.
- Be choosy. Not all jobs are created equal. Some available jobs pay minimum wage and some pay twice as much. Before accepting the first job you get, look for possible roles that can pay you substantially more.
- Present yourself as a professional. To get those better-paying jobs, prepare a LinkedIn profile to show how your skills and experience can make an impact for a local employer. Here are tips on how to create a high-quality LinkedIn profile.
- Spend less and save more. As one Verto student shared, “It wasn’t easy saving for Verto; I was used to spending everything I made. But it felt really good when I had $2,400 in my account.” Here are tips on how to save.
Be sure to open a savings account or put your earnings somewhere safe where you won’t be tempted to spend them.
Grants & Scholarships
No matter what your major, background, or financial situation is, there’s a scholarship out there with your name on it – you just have to find the right opportunities and apply!
Here’s where to start to find scholarships to fund your study abroad:
Online Search Engines
Scholarship search engines are like the encyclopedia of higher education funding. Most use filters or ask for more info about you to help narrow down the search. You can use sites such as:
You’ll be able to find both scholarships aimed at the general public, and ones catering to niche groups of applicants.
Eligibility can be based on ethnicity, talents, relative’s veteran status, overcoming past adversity, and many other factors. You can even find scholarships for your intended major or field of study.
Study Abroad Scholarships
To help limit your search, you can look into scholarships specifically for study abroad.
Here are a few well-known study abroad scholarships to check out:
- Tortuga Backpacks ($1,000)
- HI USA ($2,000)
- Scott’s Cheap Flights ($1,000)
- USA Gap Year Fairs ($2,000)
- Travel Access Project ($3,000)
- PSU Study Abroad Scholarships (various)
See more study abroad scholarships here.
Community / In-Network Scholarships
Utilize your network to see if scholarships are offered from any of your communities or affiliations. For example, if you are part of a religious congregation, you could ask around to see if anyone there knows of scholarships linked to your community or religion.
You can also try to get involved in leadership or service organizations that offer scholarships such as Rotary International.
Scholarship Hunt Tips
- Apply ASAP. Some scholarships are given out on a first-come-first-serve basis.
- Don’t just aim for the high dollar scholarships. Earning a few hundred dollar scholarships here and there is often easier to do, and adds up fast.
- Search for various types of scholarships. One advantage of starting college with Verto is that participants generally qualify for higher education, study abroad, AND gap year scholarships.
- Cast a wide net, but keep in mind: Study abroad and gap year scholarships are often much less competitive than general college scholarships because less students apply.
There are loads of ways to fundraise, but a good old fashioned campaign is a good way to start.
How do you start your own campaign?
2. Write an awesome fundraiser description. You may want to:
- Describe your dreams, strengths, and challenges.
- Be specific about where the contributions will go and how exactly it will help you.
- Make it personal: consider including a video recording with your message, clips or photos from your extra-curricular activities, or evidence of your achievements like strong report cards, awards certificates, or recommendation letters.
3. Circulate the link far and wide!
- Spread the word on different channels including email, social media, text, and in-person. You can even hang up flyers with a QR code, or try to reach out to your local or school newspaper!
- Don’t leave anyone behind: include family, friends, past teachers, co-workers, etc.
Curious about other ways to fundraise so that you can afford study abroad?
- Ask for funding as a birthday or graduation gift.
- Host a fundraising party or event: Charge an entrance fee or charge for drinks/snacks!
- Share your Venmo or Cash App in a post/story on social media.
There are loads of ways to get creative. Read here for 40 more fundraising ideas.
Okay, so you’ve gathered as much funding as possible…
What happens if you don’t have the money to pay the remaining balance?
Even after any grants, scholarships, or other cash you’ve acquired, it’s possible that you may still not have enough to cover the cost. Luckily, there are still options so that you can afford your study abroad experience.
Private Student Loans
If you need extra funding to make your travel dreams a reality, you can consider taking out private loans to cover the remaining balance.
What are private student loans?
- These loans are money that private (non-government) institutions will lend you to pay for your higher education.
- Student loans must be paid back.
- Usually you will also have to pay interest in addition to the amount you borrowed.
- Interest is the price you pay to borrow money and is typically charged as a percentage of your total loan amount.
- This percentage is called an “interest rate”.
The details about interest rates and repayment plans vary by each loan provider. It’s important that you do your research on different loan providers and understand your loan agreement well before accepting any loans. This article is a good starting point.
5-Month Installment Payment Plan
Unbeatable locations, epic excursions, and world-class academics are not the only perks of choosing to study abroad with Verto. One additional benefit is that you’ll have the option to break up your tuition balance into installments.
What are installments? Rather than paying your entire tuition balance all at once, you can split it up into 5 monthly payments.
This option helps you afford study abroad with Verto by reducing the financial burden before departure and giving you extra time to pay your balance.
You can do it. And we’re here to help.
We’re not saying funding your study abroad is going to be easy… But the payoff is gonna be huge. Get started today, and you’ll be living out your dreams and traveling the world in no time!
And don’t forget– Our team is here to help! Feel free to reach out to your Admissions Counselor or schedule an appointment with our Financial Services team to explore how to fund your study abroad with Verto.
Want to see if a Verto start to college can work for you? Apply today to get started.