The complaint that college costs are rising is not new. It seems like each year brings a significant surge in the price of a year at college in one way or another. As if getting accepted into a college was not hard enough, the second economic hurdle frequently prevents people who would otherwise be successful in college from attaining their goals.
Fortunately, such struggles always give rise to innovations. New ways of overcoming these financial obstacles to higher education are developed every time the bar is raised a little higher. Almost everyone can take advantage of more than one of the following tips.
Apply for as many scholarships as possible. The Internet has made this a much easier process than it used to be. You are not going to have to lose hours and days traveling between different buildings and locations while you wait in lines for documents. You can download multiple applications and fill them out in a matter of hours.
Furthermore, you can locate the scholarships much more easily as well. Every dollar in scholarship money that you win is valuable because you do not have to pay it back and the award of such scholarships will look very good on any future resume.
Loans are not the ideal solution but they can make life much easier during your college career. Most loans have lower interest rates than credit cards and the repayment options are much more lenient.
Frequently, you do not have to begin repayment on loans until after you graduate. You can also appeal for interest-only deferments for certain periods if the regular payments are too much.
However, you must remember that these loans must be repaid. You will not be able to erase them in a future bankruptcy. If you take out a student loan, you will pay every penny back and more.
• Textbook Options
In addition to the rising cost of tuition, the price for your college education is affected more significantly every year by the rising costs of college textbooks. Unfortunately, the market for textbooks is a bit of a con game that is run by university professors and the schools themselves. Instructors write books, colleges sponsor them and then they force students to buy them for inflated prices.
Someday this practice may be brought to a halt but, until then, you have to play along in one way or another. However, you can also lower your expenses on these books by purchasing them outside the school system. Most textbooks can be acquired from online vendors for much lower prices. You can also spend less by renting the books or buying digital versions and putting them on your computer or e-book reader.
• The Internet
The Internet is quickly becoming the repository for all information known to the world. It seems like you can find out almost anything that you want to know on the Internet. In the case of many college classes, people have already summarized critical data and posted note cards and self-quizzes. If you are not intimidated by the format, you can reverse engineer a lot of what is in the textbooks with this data.
• Staying Home
Just like the Internet can help you out, your very home can help you as well. While it is every person’s dream to go away to college and live the student life on campus or in an apartment, this will only add to your expenses. In fact, living on campus can be extremely expensive, especially if you’re looking at going to one of the top universities. Lower your costs by staying home and going to a nearby school.
College is still a manageable affair. You just have to know which corners to cut to make it worth the money that you are paying.