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These days, a college education is an absolute necessity for virtually every career path. However, as higher education has become increasingly essential, it’s also become increasingly expensive. In fact, for a large percentage of students, getting a degree requires taking out massive loans. While there’s no way to magically wipe out all of the various expenses associated with a college education, there are numerous steps you can take to make higher
Enroll in an Online Degree Program
When online degree programs first sprung up, many people openly disparaged them, claiming they paled in comparison to a traditional education. However, now that online college has been around for nearly two decades, a growing number of students and educators are coming to realize its many advantages. For starters, attending school online means not having to commute to and from campus or spend thousands of dollars per semester to live in a dorm. This also means not having to worry about parking fees, meal fees, and other costs synonymous with the traditional campus experience.
Furthermore, depending on where you’re located, attending college in-person may not be feasible unless you’re willing to relocate. On the flip side, online degree programs allow you to remotely attend schools in virtually every part of the country from the comfort of home. If remote
Living at Home
Whether you intend to attend college remotely or in-person, you can save a bundle by living at home while earning your degree. Provided your parents don’t adhere to the outdated “18 and out the door” mentality, living at home throughout college can be an effective way to save money and alleviate the economic anxiety associated with higher education. (Of course, if you’re attending school out-of-state, living at home may not be a viable option.)
If your folks are kind enough to let you live under their roof during your college years, make a point of being as grateful and considerate as possible. Now that you’re an adult, they’re under no legal obligation to provide for you, and a lot of the behaviors they tolerated when you were younger are unlikely to be taken in stride. For example, if you have a history of coming home late, make an effort to let your parents know when you’ll be staying out into the wee hours and be as quiet as possible when letting yourself in. Secondly, even if your folks don’t charge you rent, help out around the house and offer to contribute a little bit of money whenever you’re comfortably able to do so. If they refuse to accept straight-up money, consider buying them the occasional gift or meal.
Purchase Textbooks Online
As anyone who’s purchased textbooks from a campus bookstore can attest, they do not come cheap. With some textbooks retailing for over $100, this doesn’t bode well for cost-conscious students. To nip this problem in the bud, make a point of
Take Full Advantage of Meal Plans
Whether you’re a resident or a commuter, taking full advantage of a campus meal plan can help you save on food costs. Many meal plans cover three meals a day per semester, and every meal you eat in the cafeteria is one you won’t have to spend additional money on elsewhere.
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of a college education. These days, a four-year degree has become a prerequisite for an ever-expanding array of 21st century careers. However, for many of us, college doesn’t come cheap. With millions of Americans trapped beneath student loan debt, there’s little wonder as to why so many prospective students are hesitant to take the plunge. Fortunately, there are a number of easy ways to make your college years less of a drain on your finances. If a reasonably-priced college education is what you’re after, the previously discussed pointers are sure to come in handy.