Going to college can be expensive if you’re not following the right strategy. At Loan Forgiveness, we want to help you get the most out of your college experience – and that includes showing you how to save money while you’re in school.
To help you make college more affordable, our experts have put together a list of a few ways you can lower your college expenses. Using this list, you’ll not only learn some great ways to save, you’ll also get the tools you need to focus on your education instead of worrying about your financial future.
Many current and future college students are surprised by the number of programs and organizations that offer free financial aid for college. But not only is this free money available, it’s also easy to apply for and access if you qualify.
From Pell Grants to scholarships to federal and state assistance, the Federal Student Aid website is the best resource for getting help with your college finances. By simply filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you can see what programs, scholarships, grants and other programs are currently offered – at the state and federal level – that can help you pay for college.
Another free-money option you might want to consider is contacting your school to see what financial aid programs or scholarships are available.
Every year, colleges and universities around the country give millions to students in financial need or who meet certain scholastic or major-related requirements. If your education is taking you into a unique specialty, an up-and-coming field, or you just don’t have the money you need to pursue your education, it’s definitely worth seeing what your school has to offer.
On average, college students spend roughly $1,200 a year on textbooks and course materials, making it one of the biggest school expenses next to tuition and housing. But there are a few ways you can lower this cost – and in some cases, eliminate it altogether.
Before you head to the campus bookstore to buy your class materials at full-price, compare your bookstore’s prices with other online sellers. In addition to Amazon, eBay and other major sellers, you can usually find cheap college textbooks for purchase (or for rent!) on sites like Chegg, eCampus or Textbooks.com.
Once you’re done with classes, you can often sell your textbooks on these same websites, and get back a portion of the money you spent.
If an internship is on your radar, you should know that many companies offer some form of tuition reimbursement to employees majoring in their field. And this might even apply for some unpaid internships as well.
On the Student Financial Aid website, you can find part-time jobs that are part of their Federal Work-Study program that could help you earn money towards your college expenses. Plus, not only do these jobs provide financial aid to deserving undergraduate and graduate students, they also get you more involved in the community through service that can boost your resume before you even graduate.
If your school doesn’t participate in this federal program, there are tons of U.S. businesses with tuition assistance programs you can find by searching online.
While it’s tempting to attend a 4-year college right after high school, you can save a lot of money on tuition (plus many other college expenses) by going to your local community college first.
Not only is tuition generally much cheaper at community colleges versus 4-year institutions, but many 4-year colleges also partner with 2-year schools to make transferring from one to another easier. What’s more, transitioning from high school to a community college is often less demanding, allowing you to get the college experience without feeling overwhelmed.
If you’re still in high school, you can also prepare ahead of time by taking classes that give college credit. That way you’ll have some of your basic courses completed before you ever step foot into your first college class.
While tuition and books can have a big impact on your finances, maybe the biggest expense you’ll have during your college education will be living costs. One way to avoid this, and to make your college experience more affordable, is to live at home (or with friends or relatives) while you’re going to school.
Whether you’re renting an apartment with multiple roommates or simply living on the cheap with your parents, friends, or an extended family network, you can save a lot of money by living cheaply. Plus, this is a great opportunity to use any money you save to pay essential college expenses instead of getting a loan that could take years (or in some cases, decades) to pay off.
Want to make college as affordable as possible? Get in touch with our student loan specialists by filling out our online form or calling (800) 670-4196 now for help! We can walk you through a variety of loan forgiveness and repayment programs that can give you a financial edge during school.