The internet is full of money saving tips for students. You can save on entertainment, transport, food, clothes, books, and so on, and while those savings are certainly welcome, they don't really amount to anything approaching serious money. Scrimping and saving is all well and good, but it's a much better idea to cut the cost of your degree itself and free yourself from the burden of years of student loan repayments. Read on to find out how.
Live With Your Parents
While you won't get the full college experience if you live at home with your folks while you study, you will save thousands of dollars and put yourself on a sound financial footing for the future.
When you live at home, you won't have to find the money to pay for accommodation, and accommodation fees can double the final cost of your degree. According to College Board, the annual fee for room and board at a public four-year college is $10,440. Now multiply that figure by four and ask yourself if living on campus is really such an attractive option.
Study at an In-State College
Studying closer to home also brings you another saving. Public colleges charge different amounts for tuition depending on whether you're an in-state or an out-of-state student. College Board lists the average annual in-state tuition fee at $9,650 (2016-17), while those attending an out-of-state college need to find $24,930.
So even if you absolutely won't negotiate on missing out on campus life, you can still save a staggering amount of money by studying at a college in your home state.
Remember to Apply for Grants and Scholarships
Obtaining financial aid can drastically cut the costs of attending college. Unlike loans, grants and scholarships don't have to be paid back, but you have to get your application in early because some grant funds are limited and are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.
Take an Online Degree
Registration numbers for online degrees are showing strong growth while enrollments at traditional brick and mortar colleges continue to fall. Part of the appeal of online degrees is their lower cost, but they also offer a great deal of flexibility, with their part-time study programs perfectly suited to those who want, or need, to hold down a full-time job while they study.
Working your way through college while taking an online degree means that you could emerge with zero student loan debt!
A college degree is more necessary today than ever before, with many employers refusing to consider applicants who don't hold appropriate qualifications but taking the traditional route to a degree is a costly way to get your golden ticket. But by making some smart choices you can get that coveted degree for a fraction of the normal cost.