College Savings Fund
Unfortunately, because the cost of college expenses is steadily increasing, it’s hard to determine how much money you should be saving for college. For example, some experts say that someone born in 2003 and entering a public college or university in the United States in 2021 should expect to pay about $95,000 for an undergraduate degree. A private college may run upwards of $240,000. Undergraduate tuition for BVIslanders is free at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, but fees, books and other expenses still have to be paid. Tuition at the University of the West Indies (UWI) is also less expensive than going to an American university and some programs can be done at the local campus extension or online. There are lots of online university programs that offer quality education at a less expensive rate than residency programs. The earlier you start your child’s education fund, the longer it will have to grow and the more security you will have in knowing how you will pay for your child’s college education.
You can get an estimate for college costs using the How Much Will College Cost? calculator and then use the Building an Education Fund calculator to figure out how much you will need to save regularly to meet your goal.
One of the best ways to pay for your child’s education is by getting a scholarship. If your child gets high grades and is a top performing student, he or she will be awarded scholarships to fully fund their college or university education. Spending the time to ensure that your child does well in school will save you money in the long run.
BVI residents and belongers can also apply for a government bonded scholarship. A government bonded scholarship is a monetary scholarship provided to students upon the signing of a contract which bonds them to return and work for the government for a specific amount of years. Application for the said scholarship can be done by application through the Department of Education.
Applications should be accompanied by an acceptance letter from the prospective student’s desired university as well as the student’s letter of intent regarding their desired studies and career pursuits. It is helpful for students to indicate the field or area of work they would like to return to in the BVI.
Once all necessary documents have been received, students will be given an interview date to meet with the Scholarship Committee. The committee will determine whether the scholarship will be awarded to the applicant.
Most scholarship awards by application are around $10,000 per year. Scholarships that are awarded by merit, for example to the valedictorian, salutatorian or high ranking achievers on graduation from secondary school, often range from $12,000 - $18,000 per year.
Students should also investigate any scholarships provided from their university of choice. There are many more scholarship and education options for achieving higher education. Check out what financial assistance is provided at your school of choice. Schools sometimes offer scholarships to students participating in extracurricular activities involving sports and music. General financial assistance tends to be available with application.
Many universities also provide financial aid by application. In addition, students can apply for grants which are one time financial contributions Grants can range from $1,000 to $10,000 dollars and sometimes more.
Most banks in the BVI also offer student loans. For U.S. citizens or residents, student loans are also available at most US colleges and universities, both for residential, extension and online programs.