4 Simple Ways to Cut College Costs
Posted on August 29, 2016, By Midlothian Higher Education Center
4 Simple Ways to Cut College Costs
Applying to college can be expensive; and tuition alone is a huge sum that can greatly impact a person’s income. When you add in housing or commuting expenses, on-the-go meals and materials for class such as books, that number only grows. Going to school shouldn’t be a financial burden. To help make it easy for you, here are four simple ways you can cut your college costs.
Seek Extra Financial Help
Paying close attention to your package when you pay tuition can help you eliminate items like room & board if you’re commuting. But if your costs are still steep after, consider getting help. Most people first assume loans, but there are many ways to get additional financial aid when going to school. There are scholarships offered for any topic imaginable, grants offered by the government, or even aid from your employer. A number of employers offer plans to help pay for portions of a student’s education, often in return for retaining employment there for a few years. Even if they don’t offer this explicitly, it may be an option to broach with HR. Explore the options your employer has to lift some of the burden off yourself.
Buy Used or Rent
Book costs each semester can easily topple the $500 mark, depending on what kind of courses you’re taking. Despite this, these costs are also the simplest to cut. There are a number of book selling websites, including Amazon and Chegg, that offer deep discounts on used books in varying conditions. Since most people choose not to keep their textbooks, this also leaves you room to sell the book back when you’re through with it. Renting books from the campus bookstore or other online vendors is also a cost friendly option for those not seeking to own the book. Still want new? You might consider splitting the cost of the book with a friend who will need it in the future to save some money.
Change Up Your Transportation
Living on campus or not, transportation can be a huge cost for students. Students who choose to have a car on campus or commuters who need to buy a parking pass, find themselves shelling out hundreds of dollars a semester — often for a spot that may not only be inconvenient, but packed as well. While it may seem difficult to work around the convenience of a car, choosing an alternative mode of transportation can be a major way to save.
Investing in a bike (and a $10 bike lock), walking (if you’re close enough), or using city / college public transport are all good ways to get around without feeling the effect on your wallet. And don’t forget about carpooling! It may seem difficult, especially in our car-dependent world, but making the change (and planning your time accordingly) can help save you major bucks — and may even help your health.
Apply for Student Discounts
From buying a laptop to purchasing school supplies, it’s the little costs that add up most when paying for school. But if you’re paying full price for these items, you’re throwing money away. There are a large number of groups that offer extensive student discounts, especially if you purchase at the right time. From Apple to Amazon, you can receive discounts on laptops, Amazon Prime, your cell phone bill, or even movie tickets! Most of these discounts require a valid student ID or e-mail address to verify your student status, but once you do, you can save big bucks, and not just on school items. Be sure to do your research before making purchases to see where these savings can be applied.
No matter what you do, college is going to be a costly endeavor, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find savings if you put the effort. While these savings won’t always impact the greater costs like tuition, they can certainly help with those hidden costs that people don’t consider when taking on their education, and can help make the financial burden a little easier.