Thinking about college can be scary. Maybe it is the cost, or the new adventure. Either way starting a new season can be scary. College will take lots of communication between parents and child in the way of payment, resources and choosing a career. There are many ways to save on college costs while going to college, or preparing. College is a little like starting high school but a whole new ball game because the choices that are made REALLY do affect the future of your child.
I have heard of students who change their minds each semester on their career choice, and that can be expensive. We all think of college lasting 4 years, more if going for a professional medical degree or law school. When trying to save money on college costs stay focused on the goal, even if going to a graduate program.
As our family begins the road to college it has forced me to make a list of do’s and don’t’s. Kids can go to college and it can be affordable. We will definitely save money on college costs.
Save On College Costs
- Stay in your state
Going out of state will be a lot more expensive on room and board. The cost of living in the state may be higher, and travel back and forth will be higher. Independence can be gained by going to a community college.
- Look local
Online colleges can save time and money. By doing an internet search you can find one in your state or even in your city.
This one is huge because so many let some scholarships go unclaimed. Check at libraries, check small organizations, ask schools, ask everywhere. I used to belong to a women’s group who gave away $2000.00 each year. It compiled for a couple of years because no student was applying. When someone finally did they were able to receive close to $4500.00. It pays to ask around.
- Start your college years off with a goal
Know what you are taking and avoid switching degrees. This can be costly.
- Financial aid
Go to the library and search online for all of the financial aid available. Then apply for it. All they can tell you is “no”.
- Buy Used Things
Buy used books, used clothes, used shoes…you get the drift. In college saving money is the important goal in mind. Spend what you have on food, books and classes. Be very frugal.
- Set a budget
Have a budget in mind for school expenses, clothes, food, etc. Make sure you are on track with your graduation goal but don’t take unnecessary courses.
- Get a part time job
There is nothing wrong with having a part time job to pay for college expenses. Parents will love it, kids will learn valuable character traits from working and living in their means. Plus it will give them stories to tell when they get older. This will help save money on college costs.
- Community college vs. Private college
Unless it is a paid for scholarship that is a full ride to a prestigious private college the same education can be attained at a community college. Then a couple of years into the degree transfer to a private college. It will save time and money. Graduating from a private college looks good on a resume, but saving money and going through college debt free is more important.
- Admission Discount
Ask the administration office what discounts are offered to students. Sometimes restaurants have student discounts. Carry your card with you everywhere and ask. Every way possible try to save money on college costs.
This is the list of 10 that can help current and future college students save money. What did you do to save money going to college?
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