A college education was once reserved for the wealthy elite. These days, you needn’t be privileged in order to obtain a higher education. Anyone can apply to colleges and universities in order to earn a degree and improve their prospects in life.
Of course, a college education doesn’t necessarily come cheap. It can still costs thousands (or tens, or hundreds of thousands) to attend college and earn a degree, depending on where you go to school and what kind of degree you’re going for.
However, there are ways to truncate the costs, reduce the amount you pay out of pocket, and even reduce the need for student loans that include interest payments. Here are just a few ways to trim tuition costs when you head to the vaunted halls of learning.
If you gain admission to your top choice school, wild horses probably couldn’t stop you from attending. However, you need to consider more than just your emotional attachment to a particular college or university. You might not be so keen on a school when you find yourself swamped with student loan debt after graduation.
Consider attending a community college, at least to begin with, instead of going straight to a 4-year program. Community college is far less expensive than state or private schools and you’ll take virtually the same general education courses during the first two years anyway.
If you know where you want to earn your degree, all you have to do is make sure your credits will transfer and see if you can take prerequisites for your major during your time in community college.
You may even have a better shot at transferring to your preferred college or university as an incoming junior than you would gaining admission as a freshman. There will certainly be less competition and if you earn a stellar GPA in community college you may be more attractive to 4-year institution. You’ll also save a lot of money on tuition.
School selection can dramatically impact the cost of tuition, so make sure to compare state schools along with private universities, and consider in-state schools that will likely cost less than paying out-of-state tuition elsewhere.
Borrowing money from parents, grandparents, or other family members may not be your first choice, but you’re bound to enjoy better terms. Considering how much you might end up paying in interest on student loans, it’s worth seeing if your loved ones are willing to help you go to college for less.
You can’t necessarily rely on nabbing scholarships to pay for schooling, but you won’t know unless you apply. Even a few hundred dollars could help, so make sure to continue applying for scholarships throughout your time in college.
Taking a job while enrolled in UC’s online respiratory therapy programs is not ideal. Obviously you want your focus to be squarely on your studies.
However, a college education doesn’t come cheap and you’re going to have to pay for it sooner or later. If you take student loans, you’ll accrue interest, which means you’re paying even more for school in the long run.
If you can, take a job to cut down on long-term expenses. Even part-time employment can allow you to reduce the amount of student loans needed to pay your tuition and associated expenses.