5 Ways to Cut College Costs

Written by  //  02/22/2011  //  Education Tips  //  2 Comments

Here on SayCampusLife.com we’re all about helping college students and their families save money on higher education expenses. Besides college scholarships, grants and the judicious use of student loans, there are several different ways for Americans to reduce college expenditures while still coming away with the education needed to prepare students for life.

1. Work colleges — Numbering just seven schools, work colleges provide students with the skills training they need while earning an education. Students earn while they learn, taking part in a campus-wide work program or participating in paid community service. Alice Lloyd College, Berea College, Blackburn College, the College of the Ozarks, Ecclesia College, Sterling College and Warren Wilson College each offer federal recognized work programs. Visit workcolleges.org for more information.

2. Earn college credit in high school — One of the more recent trends in higher education is to allow high school students to take college credit while still in high school. Under such arrangements, students obtain their high school diplomas and leave school with the first two years of college completed. Dual enrollment schools are sometimes free or charge a comparatively low fee for college tuition.

3. Plan to serve — If your goal is college, but you have a mind to serve others, then planning to join the Peace Corps or Teach for America will help defray at least some of your college costs. Loan forgiveness is possible through various branches of the United States military or through the federal National Institute of Health and the National Health Services Corp.

4. Get educated online – Not every student is cut out for taking college classes online. Certainly, some students benefit from the camaraderie interaction found on campus. However, if you enjoy a flexible schedule and different ways of learning, then an online education through Western Governors University can save you plenty of cash and allow you to learn at a pace that is right for you.

5. Seek college employment – While there are just seven official work colleges in the United States, many schools hire students to work for the college part-time to handle a variety of tasks including shelving library books, staffing the canteen, maintaining campus grounds and more. Or, if you are a parent and are considering a new position, your children may be able to get their education for free if your employer is the college that they attend. Students still must have the grades and test scores to make it in, but under this arrangement, most of the costs related to attending college can be reduced or eliminated.

These days, getting a college education means being creative without busting the family budget or consigning college graduates to many years of debt. Other ways to save include attending low-cost community college for the first two years, working full-time and seeking tuition reimbursement from your employer or pursuing every financial aid angle available.

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