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College funds have been hit hard by the financial crisis, and many are wondering how they’re going to get through 4 years of college with less money and fewer student loans.
Here are 8 things you can do to lower your college expenses…
#1 Apply to free colleges.
(They’re free in exchange for labor.)
There are at least 18 tuition-free colleges. While they are challenging to get into, they are definitely worth a try. In addition to studying, you will also need to work. Jobs can include anything from working in the dairy, farming, cooking, being a librarian, cleaning, and other duties that will help keep the school free for incoming students.
Here’s a list of some tuition-free colleges:
#2 Begin college while you’re in high school.
Taking AP classes can easily shave off a semester or two (and it’s funded by high schools). You might even get your diploma 2 years early!
Here are a few examples:
- EDGE: Earn A Degree, Graduate Early
- College Credit For High School Students
- State College Classes While In High School
#3 Attend a cheaper college first.
Students should really consider taking the Junior College to Senior College route. Community colleges and junior colleges cost a fraction of what 4-year colleges cost.
Your time spent at a community college or junior college will net you a second Associates degree in the process!
#4 Begin your education online.
Much like taking community college courses, taking courses online is also less expensive than going to a prestigious university.
Why not study hard, get really good grades online, and then transfer those credits to the college of your choice?
#5 Test out of some college courses.
Students enrolled in college do not have to take every single course as laid out in their program.
#6 Live off campus.
This was the route I took to lower my college costs.
Living off campus not only saved a great deal of money (especially since I had house mates), but it also helped me to pay for living expenses on my own. I was able to get a job, so I could pay monthly instead of per-semester.
#7 Live with mom and dad.
While many parents may not have money to pay for college, room, and board, they still have a room that you can continue to live in as long as you continue your education.
Living at home can also have other benefits such as enhancing a college Freshman’s mental health:
It seems that especially immediately after entering a university, say one or two months, the effects of living with their parents are very significant. However, the difference between the two groups does not continue into the second year.~ University of the People
#8 Rent or buy cheaper text books.
Textbooks are becoming an increasingly larger part of college expenses.
When I was in college, we paid $200 a semester for books and supplies. Today, book costs are easily $1,000 a semester.
Here are some ways to reduce text book costs:
- Make Textbooks Affordable
- Chegg: Rent Text Books!
- Textbooks: The Most Choices & Best Prices
- Direct Textbooks
More Ways To Lower College Expenses
- 118 Ways To Save Money In College
- Top International Colleges That Offer Free Tuition
- 10 Ways To Lower College Costs
- How To Establish A College Budget
- Tax Benefits That Help Lower Your College Costs
I have been a certified tightwad striving for financial freedom since I became pregnant with my first child — and I decided to find a way to stay home with him full-time. I enjoy sharing my personal experiences in my journey back to financial health and planning for a future — which will include sending 2 kids to college and early retirement.