6 Effective Ways to Cut Down College Expenses

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Getting a college degree is not cheap, and the cost of higher education has been rising steadily over the years. Most students graduate with heavy debt and struggle to pay back loans they’ve taken to finance their college expenses.

Is there any way to cut down these costs and reduce your financial burden? Definitely.

Let’s look at a few ways to do that:

Attend Community College

Enrolling in public colleges or community colleges can help you reduce the cost of higher-level education. Public 4-year colleges are cheaper than private ones, and community colleges are even more affordable. If you take classes during the summer or start off a degree at a community college and then transfer to a 4-year school, you can save a significant amount of money on college tuition.

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Apply for Scholarships

Look for scholarship options and financial aid wherever you can find it. Search online for state and regional scholarship programs, grants, fixed-rate tuition plans and discounts. Also search within your community, since some organizations and businesses offer financial support to students for certain subjects or industries, or to employees’ families. Avoid programs that require an application fee.

Reduce Your Attendance

Do whatever you can to minimize the amount of time spent in college and as a result, your college expenses. Take achievement tests, IB tests, and AP coursework, and find a college that gives you credit for these. Other than accelerated programs and expanded course loads, many colleges don’t charge for extra credit hours, so maximize the credits you can take each semester and graduate early.

Consider Online Education

You can save a lot on travel, rent and living expenses if you take a graduate or undergraduate course online. Look for online colleges that offer degrees in the subject you want to study, so you can work at home at your own pace. You can also take online tuition to study a certain subject, and then find universities that will assess you through an examination. This is cheaper than college credit hours.

Minimize Your College Bill

One of the best ways to reduce the cost of college is to start working and paying off your student loans while you’re still studying. Look for work-study jobs, student jobs, or part-time employment in the local community, and make sure you mention your intent to work on your scholarship/financial aid application. Also, start a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan as early as possible.

Other Ways to Save

In addition to the tips listed above, there are a few more ways to cut costs while attending college. Study material is often very expensive, so look around for second-hand books or rental options. If you live near your college, it will be far cheaper to stay at home instead of on-campus, even with the cost of travelling. If that isn’t an option, get a roommate to split the rent, utilities, food, and other expenses.

It takes some time, effort and planning, but you can certainly complete your college degree without spending a fortune, especially if you graduate on time. Spending an extra year in college means paying for an extra year!

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