As the cost of tuition continues to rise, it is important to make the most of your college experience without spending too much money. There are a variety of ways to limit student loans yet result in a much-needed bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Apply for Scholarships
There are thousands of scholarships available for almost every topic. Some are based on religion, sports, hobbies, and even a few radicals ones on the color of your hair. The process for applying is fairly easy, with the most important part being the personal statement. It is important to be creative, thus putting you a step above the other applicants. When searching through the thousands available, you need to remember that every bit helps. A quick $500 can give you food for a few months and $5,000 can eliminate any student loans you were contemplating taking out. Just because the scholarship or grant isn’t $10,000 doesn’t mean it’s not valuable.
Have a Job
College is one of the best times to hold a part-time job. Whether it involves waiting tables at the local burger joint or coaching your favorite sport, having a job will put a little extra money in your pocket. If you are good with kids and have a car readily available, baby-sitting can be a great way to earn money. What can beat spending a few hours a day watching and playing with young kids? Especially when get paid fairly well and there are no tax deductions. That small amount of extra cash can be your spending money, without having to borrow from mom and dad or take out loans. Jobs are also a great way to get recommendations. If your employer thinks you are a pleasant and hard working individual, he or she can give testimony for your abilities and be a reference on your resume.
Funded By a Company
For those striving for a master’s degree, it is always important to see if your company will pay some or all of the costs. It is becoming more and more common for companies to offer payment for a percentage or all of the tuition. In return for taking night classes and perhaps guaranteeing a few years of work, a much needed master’s degree can be on the table. That means, continuing your full salary job and not spending a dime for school, an almost unbeatable combo. Companies are willing to do this to insure their employees are completely up to date with the newest techniques and technologies available.
By taking part in an online degree, the cost of living can be severely lessened. Those small daily costs, such as paying for parking or gas money to get on campus, add up in the end. Buying a parking pass each semester can be costly. By the end of all four years you can easily have spent almost $1,000 in fees and that’s without any accidental parking tickets. By not being on campus, you are also less likely to nip out for a cup of coffee or a bag of chips, more small items that tend to add up.
Perhaps one of the simplest ways to make college cheaper is to limit buying meals. While we all enjoy an occasional dinner out, eating in is a lot more practical. If you can shop at Costco with your roommates, buying things in bulk will save you a load of money. Making a sandwich or taking a snack to class can easily save you almost ten dollars a day; again the small things tend to add up. When parents come to visit, a great meal out is well appreciated but a stocked freezer is going to take you much further. Another great benefit of eating in is, you are much more likely to eat healthier. A turkey sandwich verses McDonalds for lunch everyday can help alleviate the Freshman 15 worry.
While working towards a degree is costly, there are many ways to limit those costs and still have a good time. Applying for scholarships or holding a job can limit the necessity for student loans and lessen the chances of coming out of school deep in debt.