We all know that the cost of college in the United States is crazy expensive. On top of basic tuition, you have to pay for housing, books, and of course, the insane amount of fees every semester that honestly, no one really knows what they’re for. Whether you are a college student yourself or paying for someone who is currently enrolled in university, here are 7 simple ways to save money on college costs.
Pick Your College Based on Cost
The first and easiest way to save money on college costs is to choose to attend a college or university that is less costly. One way to do this is to attend college in-state. Attending college in your home state can lessen the overall cost of a four year university by up to 30k in some cases. Another great option is to choose a college that you were awarded scholarships to. Depending on your high school achievements, students can even attend college for free on scholarships. Finally, you can opt to attend community college. Community colleges offer cost effective programs, and many students choose to attend community college for two years before transferring to a four year college. That way, you can save two years’ worth of tuition while still obtaining a reputable degree in your field of choice.
Find a Part-Time Job on Campus
Finding an on campus job is a perfect way to not only save money on college costs, but also to get involved on campus. It is more cost efficient than getting an off campus job because you can avoid having to commute by car or bus, which will save you even more cash. Another great perk to getting an on campus job is that some count as internships, so you can make an income while gaining helpful work experience to put on your resume, as well as obtain college credit.
Work With an Advisor
We all get assigned a major advisor when we attend college, however most students only see their advisors once a semester. If you use your advisor as a tool and work closely with them, they can help you take the right classes and plan a schedule that could even allow you to graduate early, in turn saving you a semester to even a year’s worth of tuition.
Buy Used Books or Rent Them
School books can get very expensive, especially when you have five classes and need one or two textbooks per class. An easy solution to saving money on these costs is to buy your books used or rent them from your school’s library. Renting your textbooks saves so much cash, and it is much more convenient because once you’re done with the class, you don’t have to deal with heavy textbooks taking up space in your room. If you do want to keep the textbooks, buying used is much more practical and cost efficient. Most students sell their used books through Facebook or Instagram, or you can find textbooks online through amazon or eBay.
Make Student Loan Payments While You’re In School
This tip is specifically for reducing student loan debt post graduation. Depending on your loan payment plan, you can choose to start making payments while you are still enrolled in school. Not all student loan plans offer this, so make sure to do your research beforehand! If this is a possibility, you will be able to avoid high interest rates, and in turn save money on your overall college costs.
Choose to Eat Through a School Meal Plan
Paying for a school meal plan can actually save you loads of cash in the long run during your college career. Meal plans are usually prepaid and allow you a certain amount of money each day. You can eat at most restaurants on campus, or the dining hall. This saves you money that you would’ve been spending on groceries and eating out at restaurants.
Use Your School Gym Instead of Buying a Membership
Another great perk of being a university student is that most schools will provide you with a free gym membership that is already included in tuition. Instead of spending money on a gym membership off campus, which can get really pricey (especially if you’re into the fancy lifestyle), use your school as a resource. After all, you are paying to enjoy all the amenities your school includes! Not only that, but it is a great way to meet other students and really get immersed on campus.
College is very expensive, but there are ways to lessen the burden of the costs. If you follow any of these steps, you will be right on track to decreasing your student debt and saving money on your college costs.