Money Saving Tips for College
College is notorious for its expense. Many students spend approximately 200,000 dollars on a bachelor’s degree only to graduate and make 35,000 dollars per year. The spending and receiving discrepancies have caused some people to thin that a college degree is worthless. However, a college degree can increase a person’s lifetime earnings by 1,000,000 dollars. Saving money for college can help make a college degree more worthwhile because you will have less loans to pay back.
Best Money Saving Tips for College
Take Practice Tests Before Taking the Real Entrance Tests
The cost of college starts with the cost to pay for entrance tests. SAT/ACT tests cost approximately 50 dollars to take, and the MCAT and other graduate-level entrance tests can cost around 300 dollars. The cost just to enter college can easily add up if you have to keep re-taking the tests to get a favorable score. Practice tests will prepare you for the real test by helping you get familiar with the format of the test and types of questions. Free practice MCAT tests can be taken online or through test prep programs.
Attend a Community College for the First Two Years if You Can
Community colleges cost around 5,000 dollars a year, which is significantly cheaper than community to or living at a university. Some states may even offer community college for free to long-time residents, full scholarships for students of graduating high school class rank, or grants to income-eligible students. Community colleges offer the most common majors (e.g. Psychology, Liberal Arts, Business, Education, etc.).
If you had a more specific major, you may have to go right to a university. You will need to be aware of transfer requirements. Many community colleges have partnership with state university that can allow you to stay on the community college campus and receive a degree from a state university and/or seamlessly transfer your credits.
Take Online Courses or Go to School Completely Online
Online courses can save you the cost of commuting. In addition, they add flexibility to your schedule for you to get a job or engage in extracurricular activities. Going to school completely online is also not a bad idea because you can attend class completely on your schedule and will not have to pay any on-campus fees. Avoid for-profit schools because they cost more, lack accreditation, and use shady tactics to lure students. Your best bet is to take a completely online program through a non-profit brick-and-mortar university.
Choose a Public University Over a Private University
Public universities are always cheaper than private university. Living at a public university can cost around 25,000 dollars a year as opposed to 45,000 for living at a private university. Public universities often deliver quality education that is respected by regional employers. The majority of hiring managers report that they care less about the school that a employee has attended than the employee’s skills and experience.
Rent Textbooks Instead of Buying Them
Textbooks alone can cost a student’s thousands of dollars a year. The majority of textbooks most likely will be textbooks that you will not be interested in keeping. There are many websites that allow you to rent used textbooks for a cheap cost. If you have to purchase textbooks because they are published by the school, look into programs that allow you to sell them back to the school or try to sell them on your own to other students.
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