How to Lower the Cost of College: Five Methods That Work


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While college can be expensive, there are ways of lowering the cost. Here are five methods that work.

1. Search for Scholarships and Grants

If you qualify for a scholarship, fellowship, or grant, you could potentially make significant savings on your college education. There are countless scholarships, fellowships, grants, and more out there, so the more you explore what is available, the better chance you have of finding an option for which you are eligible.

It does not have to take you immense amounts of time either, as long as you use a scholarship finder tool. For instance, when you search for scholarships through SoFi, you can easily find scholarships, fellowships, and grants that fit your profile.

You can also utilize ten different filters, such as a keyword, school type, and area of study, to narrow your results and find scholarships or grants that fit your background or strengths.

2. Begin Your Education with Two Years of Community College

One great way of saving on the expense of four years at college is to do the first two years at a community college.

Community colleges can be an affordable alternative for completing the first two years of a degree program. Just make sure that, if you go with this option, the community college you attend is an accredited institution.

And when selecting classes at the community college, you will need to work closely with a counselor to ensure your core classes and electives are eligible for transfer to the college where you plan to complete the last two years of your degree.

3. Earn College Credits at High School

You have the opportunity of earning college credits while you are still in high school to help you reduce the number of college credits you need to complete your chosen degree program.

To do that, you will need to participate in the advanced placement curriculum, which is administered by the college board.

The curriculum consists of standardized high school courses that are similar to undergraduate college courses.

By completing coursework and examinations, you can earn credits and then accelerate your placement at college.

4. Save Money While at College

You can also lower the cost of attending college by looking at ways of saving money once you begin your degree.

For example, you could look for the most affordable housing, always make a packed lunch rather than eating out every day, reduce how often you go out to places like cinemas, clubs, and restaurants, purchase second-hand textbooks, and use public transport instead of driving a car.

By actively finding ways of lowering your monthly costs, you can make significant savings in the long run.

5. Get a Job While at College

While you will need to spend a lot of your time studying, you could get a part-time job to help you lower the cost of attending college. Even working one day a week can significantly improve your financial situation.

Final Thoughts

While attending college can be expensive, both in terms of tuition fees and living expenses, it is usually more than worth the financial outlay. With a degree in hand, you will be able to more easily pursue the career of your dreams and earn a lucrative income. You will also gain valuable life experiences by attending college.

And while attending college can be costly, as we have seen, there are several ways in which you can lower the expense. So, to recap, methods that work to lower the cost of college include:

  • Searching for Scholarships and Grants.
  • Beginning Your Education with Two Years of Community College.
  • Earning College Credits at High School.
  • Saving Money While at College.
  • Getting a Job While at College.