Putting yourself through college is no easy task, especially if you are paying your own way. There are some things you can do to help save money before, during and after college. Here are some tips to help you along your journey.
Take a summer job. If you are in High School, and anticipating going to college right after your high school graduation, you are going to want to start working part time as soon as possible. There are some restrictions on high school students working on school days. Your school office can help you get a work permit for your new job.
Live with your parents. I know you are thinking “I need to get out of here!” but you can save a ton of money by living at home. Most likely your parents will let you stay for free, or you could ask them to charge you rent and have them save that money to pay towards you college bills.
Find your least expensive college option. Obviously a 4 year college is more expensive than a 2 year, but if you want to attend a 4year college figure out if you can start at a college that is cheaper and then after 2 years transfer your credits to the big 4 year college. This can save you tons in tuition fees.
Buy used books. They are going to give you the same information as new books so why pay more for new? There can be quite a bit of savings when buying used. You can even do this with software and school supplies.
Car pool. If your buddies are attending the same college, try car pooling. This will save you both on fuel and maintenance expenses. If you live close enough to campus and the weather permits just ride your bike or walk.
Take it easy on the student loans. While you may need to take out a few of these throughout college, try to keep it to a minimum. You will have to pay the money back, and that includes the added expense of interest.
Take grants and apply for scholarships whenever possible. If you plan on staying employed with your current employer, and are looking to advance within the company once you receive your degree, find out if they will pay for your schooling. A lot of employers will do this to keep you with the company.
Finally, after you graduate consolidate any student loans into one loan. This can help to get you a better interest rate and maybe even lower your monthly payment. Paying off the loan as fast as possible is ideal to keep the amount of interest you pay low, but making sure your monthly payment is low will help you during months when money is tight.
There are many things to consider when it comes to your college education and money is a big one. Following these tips will help you keep your costs low. Then you will not feel like you are paying back student loans for the rest of your life!