Unless you’re lucky enough to have rich parents, or parents that saved up a decent college fund for you, money will never be far from your mind while you’re studying for your degree. So take a few minutes to read through this list and find out how you can save some big bucks.
Study in State
If you haven’t chosen your college yet, you can save a lot of money on tuition by studying in your state of residence.
CollegeBoard.org reports that the average estimated 2016-2017, on campus, tuition and fees for in-state students at a four-year public college was $9,650, while out-of-state students paid $24,930.
Instead of scrimping and saving to find cut price movie tickets or 2 for 1 pizza specials, save big by enrolling in college closer to home.
Another huge cost for college students studying on campus is their accommodation. According to College Board, the average cost for room and board for the 2016-2017 academic year, is estimated to be $10,440.
If you study through an online degree program and stay at home with mom and dad, you can avoid that cost. In addition, since online degree programs are flexible and designed to fit in with your other commitments, there’s no reason why you can’t get a full-time job and study in your spare time.
Imagine if you earned a full-time income that comfortably covered your tuition fees. You’d be able to graduate without the millstone of student loans hanging around your neck.
It’s not wise to choose any old online school, though. For your degree to be worth anything to an employer, you’ll need to study with an accredited school, like Rutgers University, who offer both bachelors and master’s degrees online.
Their masters programs, like the masters in social work online (MSW online) are particularly well suited to older students looking to gain further qualifications with a course that they can fit around work and family life.
Buy Used Textbooks or Borrow
College Board lists the average figure for textbooks and supplies for 2016-2017 at $1,250.
The National Association of College Stores reports that the students need roughly nine textbooks per year, and that the average cost for the most expensive books was $145. The average cost across all textbooks and course materials was $67.
To save money on your textbooks, first find out if you can borrow them from a library for free (or rent for a fee). Then check the prices for used books at bookstores and online from students selling the texts that they no longer need.
Finding ways to save on the three expenses listed above (tuition, accommodation and textbooks) will provide a much bigger payoff than looking for student discounts, or student rates on credit cards—although you should absolutely pursue those savings too.
For some, attending college is as much about the experience of college life as it is about getting an education, but you have to ask yourself if you can really afford that experience, and if it’s one worth taking on so much debt to have.