The cost of a higher education is skyrocketing across the country as colleges continually raise tuition rates. While the debate rages on as to whether or not those tuition hikes are warranted, the reality for many students is that a higher education may be too expensive to pursue. However, there are plenty of ways to cut college costs so your dreams of academic achievement can be realized. If you look for them, there are numerous ways you can be creative about cutting college costs to get the education you want and need for a price you can afford. Here are several helpful money saving tips for aspiring college students.
Go To A Community College
Most students don’t think of beginning their college careers at a community college, but taking basic requirements at a less expensive school within commuting distance can save significant amounts of money. Also, if you weren’t admitted to the university of your choice coming out of high school, they may accept you a couple of years later. By that time, you’ll have the same credits as other university students, but without the burden of student loan debt.
Of course, this plan can backfire if the credits won’t transfer or if the right classes aren’t taken. In order for this to be a viable way to save money, you need to have a clear plan before you get started. You wouldn’t want to waste your time by taking the wrong courses. Speak with the school you plan on transferring to to ensure that everything will go smoothly once you decide to transfer there.
Once you’re ready to complete your community college studies you’ll be faced with the decision as to whether you should attend a private school or a state school. Typically, private schools are more expensive than public schools, but depending on the financial aid package you are eligible for, a private school may be a better value.
Live With Your Parents
Although not the most exciting way to save money, living at home and commuting is probably one of the easiest ways to save large amounts of money. Room and board costs at most universities are rising faster than tuition prices. Eliminating that expense altogether will go a long way to ensure you’re not saddled with student loans long after graduation. If that isn’t an option, consider living in a rented apartment with a roommate close enough to campus to ride a bike to school, but far enough away to enjoy reduced rents.
Whether you’re in the first two years of your education and are attending a community college, or you’re in the last two years of your education and are attending a four-year school, you’ll need to buy books. Buying or renting used books will save you a lot of money. There are steep discounts available for used textbooks online. You can typically find a good deal on Amazon. Also, avoid the school book store because you’ll find grossly overpriced books there.