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Saturday, September 10, 2011

7 Ways To Lower College Costs

With the economy in a state of flux like it is, people are always on the lookout for ways to cut costs. This definitely applies to those who are going to college. The price of higher education continues to rise, so finding ways to keep your overhead down is imperative, and every little bit helps. Following are a few ways to lower your college costs.

Advanced Placement Classes
A good way to save on college expenses is to get some of your college work done before you even enroll in a college. You can do this by taking advanced placement (AP) classes, which are college-level courses that are designed to prepare high school students for a college education. After completing the class, the student can take an advanced placement exam based on the courses they’ve taken. If they score a grade of 3 or more they can receive college credit. Not all schools accept advanced placement scores, so if you plan to take this course of action make sure the school you’re considering attending will accept the AP score.

Community College
In order to save a little bit of money on college costs, you may want to consider enrolling in a community college for the first two years and then transferring to a larger, four-year school later on. The costs associated with a community college could save you a significant amount of money. An additional advantage to a community college is that it may be within close proximity to your home. If so, you could make arrangements with your family to live at home and thereby avoid the cost of lodging.

Rent or Buy Used Textbooks
You can alleviate the high cost of textbooks by buying used books. A lot of students try to sell their textbooks after the school year has ended because they have no further use for them. Watch community and dorm bulletin boards for advertisements for used textbooks. If you come across the ones you need for upcoming courses don’t hesitate to place a call because other people are also looking to save a few bucks on textbooks. An alternative to buying used textbooks is to rent your books. You may be able to make regular payments for less than the cost of a purchase. The downside to renting is that if something happens to the book, you may have to end up paying full price.

Buy a Bike
The cost of driving a vehicle around campus can easily ruin a budget. Instead, you should consider buying a bicycle. It costs nothing but your energy to ride a bike and it has the added advantage of keeping you in shape. If you find that riding a bicycle doesn’t give you enough time to get to a class because successive classes are at opposite ends of the campus, you may want to opt for a moped. Most mopeds get up to 100 miles per gallon, which is a lot of trips across campus for less than $5.

Get a Part Time Job
A tried and true method of helping to pay for college is to get a part time job. Although it won’t actually lower the cost of college, it will bring in money to help defray the expenses you will incur while in school. Having a few bucks in your pocket can make the difference between eating macaroni and cheese every night and enjoying a burger now and then.

Affordable Schools
Before enrolling in a college, you should do a little research and find out which schools offer the lowest costs for tuition, books, and lodging. Usually attending a school in the same state in which you reside will provide you with lower costs than if you go to an out-of-state school. Spend a little time at the computer and search the Internet for colleges that offer lower tuition rates. Unless you’re entering a course of study unique to certain schools you can usually get the education you need at a school close to home, and you won’t have to pay the higher prices associated with more prestigious schools.

Although most students will have to take out student loans to pay for their education, there is a possibility of qualifying for grant money, especially if you are deemed to be low income. If the amount of money your family can pay is significantly less than the cost of your schooling, you will easily qualify for a grant.
Guest post from Robin Price. Robin writes about online universities for

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