There are a lot of students who need to save money on their college expenses, but there are few places that tell students how to do that. Of course, there is a lot of generic advice, like buying used textbooks, that schools give out to their students, but there is very little real, useful information about how to really keep your college costs in check. If you need to lower your college costs, try these suggestions to lower your tuition and incidentals cost.
1. Plan out your classes before you start your degree. More than half of all college students take more than four years to complete their Bachelor’s degrees. The main reason for this is that they did not take the time to plan out their college course schedule before they start signing up for classes. This means that many people take and pay for classes that they do not need for their degree. To make matters worse, most students do not plan out the order in which they will take their classes. This means that many students end up having to sign up for an entire extra semester of classes just because they cannot get a single class that they need. Paying for these extra classes can costs thousands of dollars. By sitting down for a few minutes before starting your classes, you can save thousands of dollars and get your degree in a lot less time.
2. Skip the meal plan. Meal plans are one of the most over-priced ways to buy food on campus. Many plans sell you a lot of food you don’t need or use. In fact, a lot of people end up wasting a lot of their meals by not using them at all or using them to buy snacks or other items. While this is sold as a convenience option, it actually can cost a person thousands of dollars a year. Buy and create meals yourself, and pay cash for any meals that you have to eat on campus.
3. Don’t buy textbooks. A lot of schools tell you to buy used textbooks to save money, but too make people realize too late that this doesn’t save them that much money. Instead, talk to your professors and figure out which books you can skip buying. Many classes only use a small portion of the textbook. Check out the book from the library, or borrow a friend’s copy and photocopy the parts you need. You can potentially save hundreds of dollars a year by doing this.
4. Schedule your classes carefully. Getting a higher paying job is a good way to make sure you don’t have to take out too many loans to go to college. In order to do this, it is important to give an employer a good schedule. Try to take as many classes as you can during the evenings and weekends to leave your schedule clear during business hours. This will allow you to find a better paying job.