The following is a guest post by Trey Conway of MortgageCalculator.biz:
The cost of college tuition is rising, as it the average amount of student debt. Some students can end up with close to $100,000 in student loans or more, which can cripple their financial future just as they are starting their lives.
The situation is not hopeless. There are many things that college students can do to help bring down the cost of attending college and avoid taking out huge student loans.
1. Go to an In-State, Public School
Tuition for a private college or university can be three or four times that of a public school – or more. Ditto for out-of-state tuition compared with in-state tuition. Yet, attending a private school will not necessarily lead to better job opportunities and greater earnings potential. In many fields, a degree from a public institution is perfectly adequate for landing the job. A Harvard degree is impressive no matter your field, but having a Harvard degree for a job teaching high-school English, for example, might be far more than you need for the job.
2. Attend Community College
Unless you’re in a field where the school you attends really matters, such as business, then you can save yourself even more money by going to community college first. Community college costs far less than most four-year institutions. Once you earn your associate’s degree, you can transfer to a four-year college and get your degree in two years.
If you attend a community college and four-year college with a reciprocal agreement, your associate’s degree will be accepted in place of being required to complete core classes. Just make sure this is the case – otherwise, you may pay more by having to repeat classes that are not recognized for credit when you transfer.
3. Live at Home
Room and board can be an expensive part of your college experience. Living with mom and dad – in most cases – will be free. Even if you are expected to contribute, you still won’t end up spending as much as you would for a dorm room and meal plan. Save even more money by limiting eating out and eating as many meals as you can at home.
4. Don’t Buy New Textbooks
Textbooks can cost hundreds of dollars each in some cases. You can end up spending $1,000 or more each semester if you buy all your books new. Save money by buying used textbooks or electronic copies, both of which can cost half as much. You can also develop a textbook-sharing program with classmates, so long as you do not violate any copyright protections.
5. Work as Much as You Can
Any money that you can make while you are in college can help you pay for your own educational expenses or room and board. Work only as much as you can while still maintaining your studies. Look for jobs that not only pay well but that also give you some professional experience in your field, if possible. This can improve your job opportunities after you graduate, increasing your earnings potential.
The more you can do to save money while you are in college, the less money you will have to borrow and the less debt you will have when you graduate. Using these tips can help you save a significant amount of money. If you saved well before college or earned any scholarships or grants, you may be able to get out college completely debt-free.
Trey Conway is the main content writer for Mortgage Calculator.biz. His website helps people calculate how much home they can afford. He has been interested in mortgages and creating websites since he graduated from Appalachian State University. You can reach him anytime at his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/trey.conway.758.