According to Student Debt Relief, tuition at a four-year private college costs an average of $34,740! Paying that much for tuition without getting into debt might seem like an impossible task. That’s not the case! There are ways you can make your college degree cheaper and more affordable!
Everybody knows that getting a college degree has gotten the more and more expensive. To some, getting into debt for your education might be inevitable, so it’s important to minimize that burden. So here are five little tricks that can make College cheaper and more affordable.
1. Attend an In State college
Now I know, you might have had dreams of going to some awesome college far away from home. I have to admit, it does seem pretty cool when people on TV do it. And besides, most people want to be as far away from home as possible so as to have the most fun possible! But that comes with a hefty price tag.
Attending an in State College might cost you half of what it would cost for an out-of-state College. Sure, you might be tired of the town or city you grew up up in, and want to experience a different state, but is it worth paying double for your college degree?
In most cases, getting a college degree from any established College will look just fine on your resume. An employer is probably not going to look at the college you got your degree at, so any college will probably do just fine.
So definitely consider attending an in-state college and save yourself the houses of dollars in tuition costs. This is the best way to make college cheaper, hands down!
2. Apply for as many scholarships as you can
Scholarships are basically free money that you can use to cover some college expenses. Depending on what scholarships you qualify for, make sure you apply to every single one of them.
Most people don’t bother applying for scholarships because they believe they won’t get it. But unless you try, you never know. Some scholarships can pay 30% or even more towards your college expenses. That’s a significant chunk of money that you don’t have to worry about, and if you want to make college cheaper, it’s an excellent way to do it!
Paying your college expenses with a scholarship leaves the room for other expenses like Lumen board as well as food. Definitely make sure you do this! If you don’t know where to get started, give your college a call and they can tell you what common scholarship they know about. That’s a good start.
3. Rent textbooks / buy them used
If you ask any college students, one of their biggest complaints regarding college costs is buying textbooks. The cost of textbooks can really Skyrocket. When I went to college, I remember paying well over $250 for some economics textbooks! Ridiculous! I’ve heard horror stories of textbooks costing even more than this!
Instead of going to the bookstore and buying these books brand new, consider looking on Amazon or eBay for a used copy. Also check to see if you can rent these books for the semester.
Once you’re done with a class, chances are you’re just going to put the book away and never open it again. Considering how expensive these books are, you probably want to spend as little money as possible. Another good tip is, after the semester ends, if you don’t need the book anymore, then you might even sell it. You might be able to get some of your money back! Talk about making college cheaper, am I right? 🙂
Be careful though, buying online books can lead you to buying counterfeit copies. Counterfeit copies may have missing pages or blurred photographs. This might make your semester or even harder.
Oh and one more thing. You can also look into getting digital copies of the textbooks you need. They might cost much less than physical copies.
4. Find alternative housing
Living in a dorm room might also come with a hefty price tag. Staying on campus can cost you well over $15,000 a year. 15 grand to live in a dorm room? No thank you!
If your family lives close by, then you might consider continuing to live at home and commuting to class. It might not be glamorous for some, but it’s only for a few years. Once you graduate, you’re free to go get your own place. You could also consider living in a co-op or a house that you share with your peers. By splitting the rental costs, you might end up saving a bucket load of money! No pun intended 🙂
Here’s something very important to remember. When you’re in college, everybody expects you to live like a college student. You don’t need to have a fancy house or pay for an exclusive dorm room. College life is only temporary, but the debt your accrue whilst you’re in college, will be there waiting for you when you graduate. So even if you are considering building yourself a mini home, or even getting an RV, it’s all okay!
There are loads of ways you can reduce your housing costs when you’re in college. So make sure you explore all your options and take them! They will make your college life that much cheaper and affordable.
5. Claim tax credits for tuition costs
With the American Opportunity credit and the lifetime learning credit, you might be eligible for some tax relief when you file your taxes. By claiming all your college-related expenses, this might lower your overall tax burden.
When it comes to tax time, claiming tax credits for tuition costs can have a huge impact on your college cost. There are also some tax credits you might receive if you have student loans as well. This might significantly increase your refund, and can be applied to your next college year.
Taxes can be a little confusing, so if you are unsure on how you should proceed, then make sure you work with a certified tax preparer. They can walk you through everything you can claim and how that affects your taxes and your refund.
Like I mentioned earlier, while you’re in college, you can get away with a lot of things. What I mean by that is you can live as cheap as you want to, and nobody would bat an eye. This is your greatest opportunity to save as much money as you can.
By minimizing your college expenses, this will make College cheaper and leave you with a much lower burden after you graduate. You don’t want to start off work with tens of thousands of dollars in loans. This will only slow you down, so make the most of your time in college, and spend wisely!
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