College Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

College tuition gets more expensive with each passing year and, unfortunately, federal grant programs aren’t keeping up. The same grants that used to cover college tuition now may barely cover one semester. This discrepancy between cost and aid can make paying for college feel almost impossible. If you want to go to college without going broke, here’s how:

Commute

Rather than attending a large college far away from home, go to a college more local and commute. By driving back and forth the class you can save thousands of dollars a year on boarding fees. You’ll also save money on laundry and food by not having to use on-campus services.

Many colleges offer online degrees which can whittle your costs even more by saving you money on gas. See what the schools in your area offer in the way of online courses.

Attend a State School

State Universities are notoriously cheaper than privately run colleges. Expect to pay around $15,000 a year at a state university versus $30,000 or more at a private college. Tuition at a state college is often further discounted if you can prove at least one year’s residency in that state.

Go Part-Time

While attending school part-time will take longer to complete, it will give you the opportunity to work to pay your tuition. By paying your tuition as you go, you won’t have a mountain of debt to pay back when you graduate. Even a minimum wage job can help pay part of your tuition. Make sure, though, that you are disciplined enough to work and go to school at the same time so your grades don’t suffer.

Scholarships

Almost everyone can qualify for some type of scholarship. Go to your local library and check out a book on the available scholarships for the coming school year. Apply for every scholarship you qualify for and apply early. While one scholarship probably won’t cover the cost of your tuition, several scholarships may.

Many schools offer attractive financial aid packages as well. If you have your heart set on a specific university, contact their financial aid office or look online and see what types of scholarships and aid they offer to students directly.

Explore Other Options

Unfortunately, student loans are a part of almost every student aid package awarded today. While student loans will help you pay for school, they also ensure that you graduate with debt.

Yes, college is expensive; there’s no getting around that fact. However, if you are creative, you can afford to go to school. By exploring alternative avenues, you can both save money on tuition and pay for it without going broke. Start applying today and you can find yourself in school by next semester!

Photo credit: classroom by velkr0/flickr; 2/365 by jin.thai; Piggy savings bank by alancleaver_2000/flickr

As an author and financial consultant, Thomas Hathaway suggests that there are times a pay day loan might be the perfect solution to your financial situation.


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