All college students know that tuition is far from the only expense they are going to incur while they pursue their education. College comes with many additional expenses, and figuring out how to pay for them can be stressful. There are ways, however, to reduce those additional costs.
While tuition may be the main expense you incur, there are various others, including, but not limited to:
- Books and supplies
- Fees (technology fees, loan fees, etc.)
- Dependent care
- Food and other personal items
Here are some tips for reducing the overall costs of some of the expenses listed above.
- Do a thorough price check on your textbooks. Some online universities may offer free e-books, but other e-books can be just as expensive as the paper copy. If your school does not offer free or reduced books for classes then you can look at websites such as Amazon and Half. Both websites usually have more manageable prices.
- Be aware of any “hidden” fees that might come with a certain type of loan. Almost all loans are going to have some type of origination fee, but make sure you fully understand the terms of the loan.
- Plan for childcare while you study. If you have small children who need to be watched while you attend class/complete classwork, try to find a trusted neighbor or family member who may offer to watch your children at a lower rate than a daycare or preschool might offer.
- Being a college student means you will have to make some sacrifices. Try to limit your food and other personal items allowance to a reasonable amount.
When it comes to college expenses, there is no shame in being thrifty. In fact, it is a very smart strategy. Following some of the above tips (and other ways to reduce expenses) will help you keep your total college expenses somewhat lower. Remember, every penny saved counts!
By Ryan Laspina
Compliance and Default Prevention Specialist at American Public University System