College is pretty much an essential nowadays for most career paths, but that doesn’t mean it’s getting any cheaper. A college student can pay anything up to $75k a year in tuition fees, and that’s not including a room and board while they study, so it’s no surprise that people might want to try and bring that total down. Here are some tips to help get the cost of college down in order to make it slightly more affordable.
Price up different colleges
Many students make the mistake of simply looking at the cost of fees when thinking about which college is the cheapest, but you should also look at:
- Financial aid—the most prestigious colleges tend to have the best financial aid packages, especially for exceptional students, so do some research into what’s on offer
- The cost of living—not all college students pay the same for room and board on-campus, some colleges are naturally more expensive. Research the cost of living for both on- and off-campus living
- Find out the average cost each year for activities, lab fees, textbooks and all the little extras, which soon add up
While some colleges may seem more expensive on paper, once you take into account the above, it may not cost a lot more than your local state school.
Look for federal loans
Some lucky students will get parental help or be able to pay for college without a loan, but around 70% of college students graduate with debt. Taking out loans can be a good decision in the long term, as graduates earn more than non-graduates and generally have more fulfilling jobs, however, not all loans are the same. Federal loans from the government are generally much cheaper than taking out a personal loan from a bank, and you should avoid expensive forms of credit such as credit cards, as the interest will make your education so much more expensive.
Explore scholarship options
Scholarships can be an excellent way to cut down the cost of your college education. Many students think they won’t be eligible, so they don’t bother applying and consequently they miss out on this financial help. If you’re looking for a basketball scholarship (or for funding for another sport), it’s worth visiting asmscholarships.com to find out if you might qualify. Some other types of scholarships to look for include:
- Minorities and women’s scholarships—these are more common for areas where women and people of color are underrepresented, such as STEM subjects
- Academic scholarships—if you excel at a certain subject or have an excellent academic record, you may be able to obtain one of these scholarships
- Creative scholarships—these are great for people doing arts degrees who have a high level of talent
- Community scholarships—if you’ve done a lot of work in your community and made a positive impact, these scholarships can help you pay for your education
While the scholarship process can be a little tedious at times, a few hours spent on an application or essay could potentially be worth thousands.
College is expensive, there’s no getting away from that, so it’s important to do your research and find ways to cut down the cost. The price on a college’s website isn’t always what you’ll pay, especially if you apply for as much aid and help as you can.