How to save for College Expenses
Whether you’re thinking of going back to school or you have a kid that’s looking at going to college in a few years, you need to have money put aside. Even if you plan on working while you’re in school or you know you’ll get a scholarship, you’ll still need extra funds to cover the costs of textbooks, lab fees, and all of the other small expenses that go along with going to school. If you just don’t know where else you can cut your budget to save, however, you might want to try these suggestions.
- Get another job. If you are saving money for a child to go to college, it’s probably a good idea for him or her to get a job to cover a part of the expenses. If you’re thinking of going back to school fold yourself, working in the time it takes to work another job will be a good way to practice for the added stress of fitting classes into your schedule.
- Get a debt consolidation loan. If you’re spending a lot on credit card debts every month, one of these loans could save you hundreds of dollars. These loans combine all of your existing debt into a single loan, then offer you a lower interest rate. In some cases, you may be able to stretch out the payment term so that you can really lower the amount that you’re paying every month. Use the money you save to start or enhance your college savings.
- Apply for scholarships. There are thousands of companies and non-profit organizations that offer college scholarships. Take advantage of this by applying to everyone that you qualify for. Try to look for smaller scholarships that are offered only in a small area or to a specific group of people. These scholarships tend to have less competition, increasing the chances that they’ll be awarded to you.
- Learn about lowering your college costs. Only one third of students actually pay the amount that a college says that it costs. The rest are able to qualify for discounts, work-study, or other types of financial aid that don’t involve loans. Ask your college about the discounts and scholarships it offers, then talk to former students to learn how to save some money once you start taking classes.
<p data-sp-element=”content”>College is an investment in your future, but it makes sense to pay as little as you can for the experience. Take some time to plan before you start spending on books and tuition.