Pay Less for College: Learn These Effective Ways to Cut Expenses

It’s no secret that going to college is expensive; however, there are ways to lighten the burden for students and parents. 

Choosing the Right School

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Students have many options when it comes to choosing which college to attend.

Staying local will save students and parents the most money. Staying local doesn’t mean less fun, and having family close by can be a lifesaver. 

Out-of-State Tuition

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Students are required to pay out-of-state tuition when attending a college or university outside their home state. This can add to tuition costs. 

Residents Receive In-State Tuition Discounts 

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Public colleges and universities receive funding from taxes paid by residents of the state, so nonresidents don’t receive the same tuition discounts. 

In-State Tuition Savings

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Students who choose a college in their state of residence save thousands of dollars on out-of-state tuition. So it’s something to think about. 

Out-of-State Versus In-State Tuition 

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During the 2021-2022 school year, in-state students at Michigan State University paid an average of $14,914 in tuition, while out-of-state students paid an average of $40,726.

Housing Options When You Stay Local

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Choosing a college that is close to home allows students to continue living with their parents to save money on room and board expenses. It might mean staying at home for a couple more years, but the money saved can mean more social time out of the house. Win-win. 

Start Out at a Community College

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Community colleges offer the most affordable courses for students. Every college student is required to take general education classes before getting into major-specific studies.

Saving Money on Basic Courses 

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Students who take their general education classes at community colleges can save thousands of dollars in tuition fees. You can likely find a community college that’s close to home. 

Apply for Financial Aid

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College students should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form each school year. Schools use the FAFSA to determine how much aid money can be offered to students.

What the FAFSA Offers

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Completing the FAFSA form allows students to see if they are eligible for federal grants, work-study funds, or loans to help pay for college.

Apply for Scholarships

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Many companies and organizations offer scholarships to help students pay for college. Students can search the internet to find scholarships they are eligible to apply for. 

Small Scholarships Add Up Quickly

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The larger the scholarship amount, the more competition there will be applying for the same scholarship. Students can put their efforts into applying for several smaller scholarships, and the amounts will add up quickly. 

Saving Money on Textbooks

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There are many ways to save money when it comes to textbooks. The average college textbook costs over $100, and many courses require multiple textbooks.

Rent Textbooks or Buy Them Used

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To cut down on costs, students can rent their textbooks, buy them used, or even opt for an ebook version. 

Take Advantage of Student Discounts

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Many restaurants, tech companies, and retailers offer discounts for students. Carry your student identification card, and don’t be afraid to ask if a business offers a discount for college students.

Students Save on Subscription Services

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Microsoft Office, Amazon Prime, and Spotify are just a few subscription services offering student discounts. Only subscribe to services you will use, otherwise you won’t be saving any money. 

Use Public Transportation

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Most colleges and universities have shuttles running to and from campus. By utilizing public transportation, students can save money on gas as well as wear and tear on their personal vehicles.

Ride a Bicycle

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A bicycle is an excellent and inexpensive mode of transportation for a college student. Riding your bicycle to class will not only save you money on gas, but you also won’t have to worry about hefty parking fines when you park in the wrong place. And you’ll be helping the planet at the same time!

Create a Budget

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College towns have plenty to offer when it comes to eating and entertainment, but those expenses add up quickly if you don’t set a spending cap for yourself. 

Eat at Home with Friends

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Eating out with your friends is fun, but it will blow your budget. Create group meal nights with friends, and everyone can be in charge of bringing one dish or one ingredient. Rotate who hosts dinner each week. 

Go to the Library

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One of the best free tools college students have is the library on campus. Not only do libraries have books, they also have free computers and internet available for students to use.

Get Creative While Getting Your Degree

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Going to college doesn’t have to break the bank, as long as you’re prepared. Get creative and you will find ways to earn your degree while saving money at the same time.

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The post Pay Less for College: Learn These Effective Ways to Cut Expenses first appeared on Thrift My Life.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.