5 Ways To Help Reduce Cost, When Paying for College

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Using college for personal development will cost you money. It is an investment in your future. You want to make sure your chosen career field is worth the time, effort, and money you will spend to prepare for it. There are some costs to consider when calculating everything together. Understanding the nuances of  of how these things work can help you cut costs when paying for college.

Meal Plans

Typically colleges provide a meal plan. Be aware that for those living in the dorms, some require you to purchase it. Go and see the cafeteria and the options they provide for your meals. Also look for the hours of operation. Check around the college area and see what other options you have available to you. Look at the distance to the local grocery store. Ask yourself if you will be able to cook in your housing. Knowing all of your options, and your eating habits will help you decide which is the best way for you to choose from.

Transportation

Each college campus is set up differently. You will need access to laundry facilities, food, shopping, and so on while you are at college. Some campuses are close enough to walk to all you need, while others will require you to have a vehicle. See if there is a fee for parking your vehicle on campus. A bicycle may be a viable option for some facilities too.

Books and Supplies

Books for your classes add up quickly. See about purchasing them second hand or renting them. Check locally and online for places to sell your textbooks when you are finished. If you do decide to sell, do not delay because the texts are changed out really quickly making them obsolete.

Consider the cost of a laptop computer for convenience. The college will probably provide a computer lab. Check the hours of operation and ask around to see how well it has worked for other students.

Campus Housing

Some colleges require first-time students to live in campus housing. But look around the local area for other housing options like sharing an apartment or house with other students outside of campus. Weight the pros and cons of these together. Costs, convenience, meal prep, and roommates are major factors in housing decisions.

Tuition

Tuition is by far the biggest cost of college. Compare in-state to out-of-state colleges. Research scholarships and grants that you can apply to before school. 

Pro Tip – Sometimes the smaller scholarships are easier to land since fewer people are applying to them.

Take time to add up the costs before you dive into an unknown world of college fees and dues. Take all of your college picks and put them into an excel sheet to round up the cost of each and start comparing. It will help you avoid the financial pitfalls that some students fall into when it comes to taking out s. Your personal development is priceless, but no one owns a money tree. Planning financially for college is incredibly important, as even after graduation, many people find themselves in the pitfalls of student loans, so plan carefully! You might want to rethink the prestigious, but very expensive private college if you have more affordable options in mind. 

And you can’t forget after graduation you still need to pay back any student loans you may of took out as well, so plan accordingly. Some options to look into would be of course the “Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program” or what was later dubbed “Obama Student Loan Forgiveness” which gives you a lower monthly payments based on  your income and household size rather than the amount owed and interest rate.

Getting Started

References:

3 Steps To Campus Housing | Bloomsburg Student Housing

What You Need to Know About College Tuition Costs | US News

Leftover Meal Plan Swipes: No Waste Here | NY Times  

Soaring Costs of Textbooks | M Flint

What Repayment Plans Are Best | Relief 4 Student Debt

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