Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ways to Save Money in College

Want to be a teacher?

The cost of a four year degree keeps going up. It's getting to be very expensive to go to college and many families are feeling the pinch. There are a few ways to save money on college expenses and make getting that degree a little more affordable.

If you are still in high school, start thinking about college now. Many junior colleges allow you to take college classes while in high school. Some are even taught on high school campuses. Take some classes before you graduate. If you are up to the challenge, take AP classes and pass the AP exams. This will give you college credit. Any classes you take will make the overall cost of a degree cheaper.

In fact, virtually all college degrees require the same first two years of general education requirements. Taking these classes at a local community college can save big bucks. Then transfer. You will only have roughly two years of four year college expenses. Staying at home, going to a JC, can be one of the biggest ways to save money on college. Resist the urge to get a federal student loan while at a junior college. Try and pay cash. Your loan will be much bigger than the expenses if you are living at home. Save the debt for the four year college or university.

Speaking of staying at home, are you attending college close to you? No reason to spend money on a dorm or apartment. Staying at home cuts that expense down to what your parents are already paying--your room and board now.

What is your plan? Do you have a major picked out? You need to pick one soon. Taking classes that you don't need is a waste of time and money. Choose a degree wisely, and stick with it. If not, you probably will spend longer than four years getting a degree because you need different classes. Take only the classes you need. You can also be a dual-major, using the some of the same classes for each degree.

If you live on campus, get the cheapest meal plan first. This will allow you to test the food to see if you like, and more importantly, will actually eat it. No reason to get a meal plan that you will not use.

Sometimes an off-campus apartment is cheaper than a dorm and meal plan. Check this option out.

Yes, college is expensive. Checking out ways to save now is a good idea. Also, it is very important to graduate without a staggering amount of student loan debt.