The privilege of attending college is an expensive one. Many students end up dropping out of college because they and their families cannot afford it. A lot of college students with substantial potential never get to complete their degrees.
A lot of professions require college degrees. Even for those that don’t, a college graduate is more likely to be employed and receive a higher salary. For these reasons, students must remain enrolled at college and complete their studies.
What options do you have to keep your college costs down?
- Start early
Some students get an early start by enrolling for college classes while they’re still in high school. Each course they complete successfully gives them a credit that counts toward their degree.
When they leave school, these credits become valuable. They reduce how many courses the student needs to complete and pay for while they’re at college.
Plan what you want to study before you finish school. Many students change their major in the middle of their studies and take courses that don’t contribute to their degree. Save money by spending it only on relevant courses.
You can save money by graduating on time. If you don’t pass courses or change your mind about your field of study, it will take you longer to complete your degree. This will involve another year of housing and meal needs in addition to tuition fees.
- Financial aid
There are lots of financial aid options available to students. Some of them are common knowledge, while others seem to be a well-kept secret.
Make sure you’ve taken advantage of whatever assistance you’re entitled to by consulting your college’s bursar. There may be a fall 2019 student scholarship available that you didn’t even know existed.
Any financial assistance requires a lot of documentation. Have everything you need ready and fill in the forms before the deadline. It’s a time-consuming job, but it will pay off in the end.
Don’t be one of those students who miss out on the opportunity for a scholarship because you don’t submit the forms and documents before the deadline.
You don’t need to buy all your textbooks brand new. They cost a lot of money and can be a financial burden. Most colleges have second-hand textbook stores. You should also look online for students looking to sell their textbooks.
Look after your textbooks, whether they’re new or second-hand. If you do, you’ll be able to sell them once you’re finished with them and get a reasonable price. Damaged and defaced textbooks don’t sell well.
- Accommodation and food
Housing is one of the most expensive components of college studies. Don’t assume that living in a dorm is the cheapest option. Look around for off-campus accommodation. You might find a fellow student looking for a roommate.
However, be selective about who you stay with. There’s no point in saving on your housing costs but failing courses because your living arrangements are not conducive to studying.
Bear in mind that when you rent off-campus living space, there are additional expenses to pay. These include utilities, transportation, food, and internet services.
If you’re staying in a dorm, you’ll have a meal plan. You have to pay a set amount for meals whether you take advantage of them or not. Make sure you don’t miss the meals you’ve paid for since it’s a waste of money if you do so. If you find yourself missing a lot of meals that your meal plan covers, find out if there are other meal plans that you can utilize. You need to get value for money.