10 Ways to Reduce Your College Tuition Costs
When it comes to financing your college education, tuition costs are typically the largest expense you’ll have to deal with each semester. Some students mismanage their scholarship, grant, or loan payments, and end up making this expense much larger than it should be. However, by thinking creatively and being resourceful, students can find a variety of ways to ease their financial load while they are still in school. Need to reduce your tuition costs? Try some of these ideas:
- Consider attending a university in state. In most regions, public universities are subsidized by state revenues, which result in lower tuition costs for residential students.
- Are you especially skilled in a certain hobby or sport? Many colleges and universities will provide grants and scholarships to students that are athletic, musically inclined, artistic and so forth. Meet with an adviser in your school’s scholarship office to find out if that is an opportunity for you.
- Transferring schools is one way to save money. Tuition costs are significantly lower at community colleges and vocational schools vs. private, four-year institutions. If receiving a bachelor’s degree is your end goal, then consider transferring to a four-year institution after building up your core credits at a lower-cost school.
- If you’re attending school near home, then consider commuting instead of living in a dorm. By commuting to school, you can cut costs that are significantly racked up to cover room and board.
- Some states offer grants or full scholarship assistance for academic merit. Check with your state’s education office to see what type of financial assistance is available, and to see if those benefits can be applied at an out-of-state institution.
- Earn college credits. The best way to reduce your tuition costs is to take fewer courses; however this can result in extra time needed to earn a degree. DSST exams, which are offered for more than 30 subjects, can help you earn lower- and upper-level credits for a fraction of that cost – and may help you graduate sooner!
- Have an interest in the military? The Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) has a scholarship program that covers tuition and textbooks and provides the recipient with a monthly stipend. Being a part of the ROTC scholarship program, however, does include a mandatory service requirement post-graduation.
- Some institutions will offer tuition reduction for students whose parents are alumni of the school. Moreover, if you have a parent that works for a specific institution, you may be eligible for reduced tuition. Talk to your parents and financial aid officer to find out if a tuition discount policy exists for graduates and their families.
- Consider pursuing a combined degree program that will take you three years to complete instead of four. By spending less time in school, you will be able to save a year in educational expenses.
- Being an out-of-state student can be difficult at times, especially because some institutions will charge out-of-state students a higher amount of tuition than their in-state counterparts. However, one little-known fact is that some schools will actually match in-state tuition costs for out-of-state students, especially if their major isn’t offered at schools in their own state. Talk to your financial aid office to find out if you qualify for this option.
Do you have any other tips that can help students save money on their tuition costs? If so, please share them in the comments section below!