There are a number of strategies that potential students can employ to make college cheaper, most of which are used during the application process. If you are already in college, there are a few ways you can still get a discount on your tuition, though it is significantly more difficult. Since there is a wide range of tuition costs, the best way to get the most for your dollar is to find schools that meet your needs at reasonable prices. The next biggest expenditure after tuition is room and board, which often cost students a lot of money for a small dorm room. The good news is that room and board fees can be bypassed if you commute or take online classes from home. To find some great schools that offer affordable online degrees, check out our list of 30 Cheapest Online Bachelor’s Degrees. Let’s take a closer look at how you can cut down costs while working towards a degree that will repay your investment upon graduation.
If you know what schools you want to apply to and are looking for ways to get a break on tuition, remember that there are a number of different scholarships available for any degree seeker. Every college and university has a financial aid office which usually offers scholarships for highly motivated students, so you should be sure to check what financial aid packages are offered at your institution. In addition, there are a wide variety of scholarships that are offered by private institutions, most of which require filling out a form and submitting a short essay for a chance to win thousands of dollars off of your tuition. Many of the private scholarships can be applied for even if you are already taking classes, as the award money will count towards your next semester’s tuition. For more information on how to find some scholarships that you would be eligible for, check out our FAQ on How Do I Find Scholarships?.
If you are already in college, a good way to make some extra money that can go toward tuition is by applying to a Work-Study Program. Work-Study programs are subsidized by the Federal Government, and encourage students to find a job on campus that relates to their field of study, and pays them for their efforts. For example, if you are a computer science major, you might apply at the Technology Help center, to assist other students with navigating your school’s online platform. If you are an English major you could work in your school’s library, or help other students with their essay writing. Many colleges also offer opportunities to engage their surrounding communities, like tutoring local K-12 students after school. In addition to Work-Study programs, there are a number of jobs on campus that can help save you a lot of money. Resident Advisors keep tabs on the activities of the students who live in their dorm, making sure that the environment is safe and comfortable for everyone, and in exchange often have their room and board paid for by the college.