Post-secondary education is essential, and those degrees don’t come cheap; attending College or University can easily cost you thousands of dollars, you have to pay out of pocket or borrow from creditors such as the federal government or private lender such as banks,
Tuition and fees can range from $10,000 To $40,000 at four universities and colleges; that’s a hefty sum for most families and students to pay; tackle college costs with these strategic ways to make college more affordable, including exam credits, financial aid and student discounts.
Here Are How To Make College And University Cheaper
10.Go to community college, then transfer
For some students, attending a two-year community college first can be a more affordable way to complete required courses than a four-year institution.
On average, public community colleges charged in-state, in-district students $3,730 for tuition and fees in 2019-2020, according to the 2019 Trends in College Pricing report released by the College Board.
9.Use federal student loans
For students who need to borrow to pay for college, experts say to limit borrowing to federal student loans. Federal direct subsidized loans and direct unsubsidized loans offer some borrower protections and a low, fixed interest rate.
Undergraduates who take out a new federal student loan for the 2020-2021 school year will borrow at a 2.75% interest rate. Experts say private higher education loans tend to have higher interest rates because they are considered risky to the lender.
8.Take advantage of student discounts
Students can get discounts on everything from an Amazon Prime subscription to a checking account at a bank. Take advantage of discounts when possible, and do some research before a purchase to see which companies offer students deals.
7.Rent or buy digital textbooks
Textbooks are often an overlooked cost of college, but they can add up. According to the College Board, the average full-time, on-campus undergraduate at a four-year school is estimated to have spent $1,240 on books and supplies during the 2019-2020 academic year. Consider renting textbooks, buying the digital or loose-leaf versions, or trying any of these tips to cut textbook costs.
6.Join an ROTC program
The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or ROTC, offers a scholarship program covering tuition, fees, books, or room and board instead. These scholarships require a commitment to work in the U.S. military for at least eight years after graduation. They are available to high school applicants and students already enrolled in college.
5.Go to an in-state school
Public schools tend to be less expensive than private colleges before financial aid is applied. Still, there can be a significant difference between attending a public institution as an in-state and out-of-state student.
According to U.S. News data, tuition and fees at ranked public colleges for in-state students averaged $10,116 in 2019-2020. The cost for out-of-state students was more than double, averaging $22,577.
4.Make a plan to graduate within four years
College students should plan to take 15 credits a semester to graduate within four years, experts say. While taking 12 hours a semester is considered full time at many institutions, it’s not enough in most cases to complete a bachelor’s degree on time.
Mark Kantrowitz, publisher and vice president of research for Savingforcollege.com, advises college-bound students to “plan from matriculation to graduation, so you know which class you need to take when.”
3.Take Advanced Placement courses (AP)
High scores on Advanced Placement, or AP, exams can help students and their families save on college tuition. Many schools will award course credits based on AP scores, but a few schools, such as Brown University in Rhode Island, don’t award credits.
“Depending on the college and the score, it may waive a general education course or count as elective credit,” says Christopher Lee, a career consultant and the founder of PurposeRedeemed, a leadership-coaching organization
2.Look locally for scholarships
Colleges and universities may offer institutional scholarships, but students can chip away at college costs further by taking advantage of local scholarships. Local organizations typically offer these services and may not award large amounts like some national scholarships do, but local scholarships are often much less competitive.
1.Apply for financial aid
Most college admissions consultants advise families to apply for financial aid early and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid as soon as the form is available on Oct. While this application is used to determine federal student aid, many colleges and universities use the FAFSA to allocate need-based awards.
“It’s a fairly well-known fact that the earlier after Oct. 1 the student applies, the better the chance that the colleges have more dollars to dole out,” says Jack Shinn, a financial advisor and the president of New Jersey-based J Shinn & Associates.
Source| US News