Every student heading into their college education is looking for ways to reduce college tuition costs.
So, what are the best ways to reduce what you spend on your college tuition? There are a few tried and true ways to set yourself on the right financial path. Let’s take a look at some so you can make a cost-effective plan for your future.
Go to community college
Community college saves students a significant amount of money compared to a four-year option. Starting off at a four-year college is 10 times more expensive than going to a community college and transferring.
That’s thousands of dollars in tuition money you can save by spending two years at a cheaper college.
Research tons of scholarships
There’s no such thing as applying for too many scholarships. In fact, as long as you qualify for them, apply for as many as possible. Even the small ones can impact your overall college costs, especially if you get awarded several of them. Scholarships are the best way to get free money towards your education.
Speak to your school about merit-based financial aid
If you’ve excelled in your academic career, you can consider speaking to your school about merit-based aid. Often times, schools set money aside for students who excel in specific areas. If you’re one of them, you could get a few extra thousand dollars a semester towards your tuition bills.
Ask about the family discounts
If you have siblings attending your college, there may be discounts for you and your family members. As an incentive to inspire families to come to the same school, many schools will offer a discount to multiple family members. While it’s not always an option, it’s definitely worth asking the financial aid office.
Consider fixed-rate tuition colleges
Fixed-rate tuition colleges ensure that your tuition stays the same throughout your undergraduate degree. That means that you won’t experience an extra hike in your tuition while you’re already in a program. To see if the colleges you’re considering are fixed-rate, reach out to the financial aid office and ask.
Ask about tuition waivers
Some students are eligible for tuition waivers. To determine if you qualify for the waiving of fees or tuition costs, you need to speak to the financial aid office. In most cases, students eligible for waivers are veterans, teachers, police officers, firefighters, and higher education employees’ dependents.
Enter a high-need field
If you’re planning to enter a high-need field, such as nursing or engineering, there’s potential that the school will do additional due diligence to supplement your tuition. First, you have to declare your career path. You can then ask the financial aid office if there are any programs to help you with the cost of your education.
Speed up your education
Graduating early is an easy way to reduce tuition costs. Completing your education by taking accelerated classes and summer or winter sessions means you can finish faster and reduce the amount you spend on tuition overall.
Ask your employer about tuition reimbursement
If you’re an adult student going back to school, there’s potential for you to access tuition reimbursement programs. First, you’ll need to ask your employer if they offer any programs that will help with your tuition costs. In some cases, you will be committed to your company for a certain amount of time due to their investment in your future.
Be frugal with student loans
Taking out a large amount of loans so that you can live in a fancy apartment and get assistance with your bills might sound like a great idea. However, remember that you’ll have to pay all that money back with interest. Some people end up paying student loans for as long as 30 years after they graduate college.
Be careful with how much you take out. Do everything you can before taking out student loans to reduce your tuition costs and save money on your education. After all, the last think you want is to graduate with crippling debt.