5 Tips for Saving Money on College Tuition
It’s no secret that college tuition is rising and college students are taking out more and more loans to cover the difference. Looking at that balance you owe after you collect your college degree, those numbers are both staggering and daunting. According to the Project on Student Debt, the average student loan debt just passed $25,000 in 2011. Twenty-five grand! Imagine what you could do instead with that amount: buy a car, put a down payment on a house, go on a luxurious trip around the world, and many more. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce college tuition costs during your four years at school.
1. Financial Aid and Scholarships
Many colleges and universities offer financial assistance in the form of grants or scholarships to their students. In addition, there are also many outside scholarships you can apply for that can further reduce the balance of your student loans. Websites likewww.fastweb.com can match you up with scholarships that you are eligible for.
2. Go to Community College
Attend your local community college for two years before transferring to a four-year university. Tuition costs at community colleges are MUCH lower than those at four-year schools. While attending community college, you can save additional money on rent and food by living at home.
3. Live at Home
If you go to community college or are planning to attend college in the nearby, live at home and commute to school. This is the part where you have to swallow your pride and remain under mom and dad’s roof. Although you have been hoping to secure your independence from your parents by entering college, bear in mind that room and board costs ranges from $7,500 to $9,000 per year . Living at home is probably not ideal for most 18-year-olds, but why pay close to $10,000 for a room and food when you could already get that at home?
4. Do a course overload
By taking more than the minimum course load in college and even taking summer classes, you could rack up enough college credits to graduate a semester or even a year earlier, thus saving yourself thousands of dollars. For summer courses, students should check with their academic advisor to see if the credits are transferable before enrolling in classes.
5. Work part-time
While studying at school, find a part-time job to earn money. Student jobs are far from glamorous and they don’t pay much- you’re looking between $8 to $12 dollars an hour. But by working as a waiter, sales associate, or office assistant, not only are you able to put aside money into your savings account, you will gain valuable work and interpersonal skills that will be conducive when you are ready to apply for positions after you graduate.