By Ryan Laspina
Analyst, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS
Attending college means you’re taking out an investment in yourself. You put money, time and effort toward an education to benefit you in your future career.
So how do you ensure you get the maximum return on your investment? Try these tips:
- Research schools and find out which ones are the most cost-efficient.
- Apply for every scholarship and grant you find.
- Start saving as much money as possible and limit unnecessary purchases.
- Think about what career field to explore or which new career fields you would want to explore if you are a non-traditional student.
- Make a promise to concentrate on your education.
- Borrow only the amount of Federal Student Aid (FSA) loans you need to meet your educational expenses each semester.
- Attend class and participate frequently.
- Take advantage of all resources your school offers, including free tutors, the library and computer labs.
- Try to find internships or part-time jobs in your career field.
- Research websites that sell textbooks at lower prices than the school’s bookstore.
- Attend presentations, extracurricular activities, award ceremonies and any other university-sponsored events that offer networking opportunities.
- Earn your degree on time.
- Make timely monthly FSA loan payments to avoid delinquency and default.
- Apply for every available job in your career field.
- Continue your networking.
- Join the alumni association at your school and attend its events.
- Make smart financial decisions, especially if you are unable to obtain a job right after graduation.
- Keep the skills that you learned in college fresh, especially the skills necessary to compete in the job market.
Maximizing your college experience is mostly up to you. Attend class, actively participate and feel proud that you’re working toward a degree.
It is never easy to cut spending. But focusing on the essentials while you attend college might enable you to build the cash reserves to have more fun once you enter the workforce. The sacrifices you make while you attend college could really pay off!