It’s no secret that attending college can be an expensive endeavor, but students often must obtain a degree if they wish to enjoy successful careers in the future. That being said, college doesn’t have to leave students with six figures of debt. In fact, planning and making a few sacrifices can save them thousands of dollars, while still leaving them with the degree they need to attain their goals. Read on to discover simple ways to save money on college expenses.
Attend a Branch Campus
Branch campuses are smaller than the main universities to which they belong, and their tuition rates also tend to be cheaper. Yearly tuition at the Ohio State University, for example, is about $3,000 cheaper at its branch campuses in Mansfield, Marion, Newark, Wooster, and Lima.
Branch campuses may not offer as many course options and degree programs as larger universities, but some of them offer four-year degrees in a limited number of areas. The Panama City branch of The Florida State University, for instance, offers several degrees in business, social science, and computer science, but does not present as many options as the main campus in Tallahassee. Students looking to save money can find a degree program that suits them on a branch campus, or perhaps begin their studies at a branch and then transfer to a main campus when required.
Stay Close to Home
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average annual cost of room and board is $7,210 at four-year public universities, with costs averaging $8,738 at private institutions. Living at home, then, can substantially reduce the costs associated with obtaining an education.
Students may be eager to venture away from home, but staying home and commuting to a nearby college can save them from graduating with five figures of debt.
Consider a Community College or State University
According to the College Board, the average yearly tuition at two-year community colleges is $2,713, which is substantially lower than the $35,000 a year that students can expect to pay at a private institution.
State schools are cheaper as well; the U.S. Department of Education has estimated that yearly tuition averages $5,073 at four-year public universities.
If students can obtain their career goals with a two-year degree from a community college, they will indubitably save a significant amount of money. If community colleges do not suit their goals, a state college is a good alternative.
Always Buy Textbooks Used
Brand-new textbooks can cost hundreds of dollars, and in college books stores, even used books can be costly. Students can save money by ordering used books online at Amazon, eBay, or a number of textbook websites.
Before ordering, students should check to see if the textbook they need comes in a paperback version, which will likely be cheaper than the hardcover book. Students can also save money by purchasing international versions or older editions of their books, which are typically identical to the current U.S. version.
Clearly, by making wise choices, college students can save significant amounts of money on their education and focus on studying instead of worrying about money.