Earlier in this blog, I mentioned that I graduated from university with $66,000 worth of student loan debt. I wish that before I entered college, I had someone to sit down with me and really explain student loans, and to cover all of my options for paying for school.
Tips for saving on college
It wasn’t until late into my education that I really started understand that there were many other ways to keep the costs of schooling down, without relying so much on student loans. These options include:
- Scholarships and grants
- Fill out your FAFSA to see if you qualify for Pell Grants and other scholarships.
- Working a part-time (or full-time, if you can manage) job
- Living with parents as long as possible
- This may not be for everyone, but there’s no shame in staying with Mom and Dad for a little longer to save some money on rent and utilities.
- Payment plans
- Many community colleges offer this option for paying for your tuition
- Community college
- Local institutions typically tend to have cheaper tuition than state universities or private schools. You can save yourself thousands of dollars a semester by taking some, if not all, of your courses at a local college.
- Being responsible with student loans
- I made the mistake of taking out student loans for any and everything while I was in college. Don’t be like (younger) me. Check out our page on student loans for more info on how to handle student loans
If you can manage to take advantage of some or all of these above tips, you can potentially save yourself thousands of dollars in college costs each year. Higher education isn’t cheap nowadays, so it’s probably a good idea to maximize the tools at your disposal to lower that tuition bill.