We all know that these days there are lots of benefits to be had from getting a degree at a university, including getting a job sooner, being paid more, having more job security, and more.
Unfortunately, there are also plenty of costs which go along with these studies. To help you get a degree without mountains of debt, read on for ways you can save on your college education.
Pick the Best Campus and Course for You
For starters, cut back on costs by picking the best campus and course for your needs. Keep in mind that different universities charge different amounts, so you can immediately save some money by selecting a more affordable institution. Most are accredited in the same ways, so you shouldn’t have to forfeit any benefits. Make sure to research this thoroughly though, to be sure.
While it’s nice to be able to say you graduated from a well-known college, the fact is that these places have higher fees to go with their brand names. And usually after a little bit of time in the workforce, it won’t matter where you went anyway. The main thing is that you have the necessary qualification for your career and job type.
Be careful about which specific degree you choose too.
Don’t rush into a decision or make one based on what your family or others say you have to do. If you do, you may realize you don’t like the course, and then just have to start all over again with your preferred subject matter. This not only wastes time and energy, but also a lot of money.
Choose Online Study
Next, why not consider online study, rather than attending a campus? These days, most universities have a wide variety of online courses available, from online MBA programs to psychology degrees. Most online programs also offer degrees in engineering, teaching, computer science, and more.
Studying online will help you save money in a few ways.
For example, by choosing this option, you won’t have to move to attend university. You can enroll in your preferred program no matter where you live, and save on moving costs and, if you’re currently living at home, costs involved with moving into your own place. By attending your courses by computer, you will also spend less when it comes to travel costs like petrol, parking, or public transport fees.
If you’re currently working in a full-time job, and want to earn a degree without having to give up the financial and career rewards that come with your work, online study is also a good option. Simply schedule your classes around your job commitments, and keep on earning a full-time wage.
Utilize Financial Aid
What many students don’t take advantage of during their university days is the financial aid which is available. Most colleges have various types of scholarships and grants you can apply for, as well as bursaries and other aid.
These might cover tuition, or things like books, accommodation, student exchanges. Often, this aid never has to be repaid or, if it does, it will likely come with very favorable terms.
Note, too, that you might also be able to find programs run by private organizations, or by state and federal governments. Many of these organizations like to support students and future community leaders
You might have to spend some time putting together detailed applications to have a chance of being chosen, but that time is well worth it if you save yourself considerable money.
Reduce the Amount of Time You’re at University
Another good way to cut costs is to reduce the amount of time you end up being at university.
After all, each week, month, and year that you’re attending classes and paying for board, books, food and the like, and not out in the workforce, costs you money.
To reduce your study time, consider a combined degree, rather than two separate ones back to back. Or opt for an accelerated program that shaves months or even a full year off your program. Your university may also allow you to obtain credit for prior knowledge or for completing extra units during holidays.
Find Ways to Cut Living and Studying Costs
While you’re at university, you should also be able to find ways to save money by spending less on day-to-day expenses too.
For example, be frugal when it comes to where you live (e.g. room with multiple roommates or choose accommodation further away from campus), and buy books second-hand where possible.
You’ll also reduce expenses if you cook for yourself rather than eating out. Avoid partying and shopping a lot and take public transport rather than more expensive cab or Uber rides.