According to a recent “Trends in College Pricing” study, the average tuition for students attending a four-year public university jumped nearly 12% in the last year, an increase that doesn’t even include food, clothing and other expenses that college students face. There is good news however in that there are many ways that you can save money on college costs. Even better news is that we’ve put together a blog for you, our dear readers that will outline all of those ways so that you too can save money on your college tuition and other college costs. With that in mind let’s get started. Enjoy.
There are a number of areas that you can save when shopping for the necessities of college, including;
- Shopping for and buying used textbooks.
- Selling your used textbooks back to your school or selling them to another student.
- Buying food in bulk if you don’t have a college meal plan. For example, buying a case of cola rather than paying the exorbitant fees to purchase one at a time in a vending machine.
- It’s become very trendy to buy used close at a thrift shop. This is an excellent way to save money on clothing (even if you’re not in college) and sometimes you can find excellent buys.
- If you don’t have a meal plan, preparing and eating your meals at home or in your dorm can save you a lot of money.
Those tips will save you a few bucks here and there. These next few tips however can save you quite a bit more if you are able to take advantage of them.
- Living at home may not be as exciting as living on campus but it can save you literally thousands of dollars over a 3 to 5 year college degree.
- Using campus transportation, a bicycle or your own 2 feet to get around campus is much cheaper than having your own automobile. You’ll save money on gas, maintenance and insurance as well as parking costs.
- Many colleges and universities will allow you to ‘test out’ of a class if you demonstrate that you have the knowledge required to pass. Doing this will obviously save you a lot of money over actually taking, and paying for, that class.
- If your college or university offers the opportunity, becoming a resident assistant (RA) is an excellent way to get a break on many college costs, including room and board. Yes, it involves a little bit of extra work and time but the savings can be well worth it.
- Another excellent way to save quite a bit of money is to go to your local community college for the first year or 2 of your college career and then transfer to a 4-year college once you’ve earned enough credits. The fact is, you’ll actually save about half the amount of money that you pay at a regular four-year college by going to a community college instead for the first two years, savings that can add up to thousands of dollars.
- There are many colleges that offer employee discounts to the students of employees. For example, Ohio State University offers something called their ‘dependent tuition assistance’ program which means that, after being employed at OSU for three years or more, they will pay half of all undergraduate fees of an employees’ child who attends OSU.
- Many colleges also offer a discount program for paying tuition early. These prepayment discount plans can save you big bucks by paying for tuition now instead of when your son or daughter is actually in school. (One reason; you’ll pay today’s tuition cost, not the future, increased, cost.) Check with some of the schools that your daughter or son are interested in attending to see if they offer this prepaid discount program. (The one drawback to this idea is simply that you will need to choose a college ahead of time and, if things change between when you start paying and when your child starts school you may lose some or all of that money.)
In the spirit of what we’re talking about we hope that this blog has been educational and that you have found a few ideas that will help you to save money on your son or daughter’s college costs. We hope you enjoyed it and we hope to see you here again soon for much more excellent financial advice and tips. See you then!