For many college hopefuls the idea of borrowing student loans in today’s crisis hardly seems like a pleasant option. While many will be able to reduce their need for borrowing through grants and scholarships, there are plenty who will not be as lucky. However, there are still some ways to reduce the need for borrowing to pay for college.
Take A Different Path
Sure living in a dorm on campus is every young adults pictured ideal of going to college, but more students are staying at home in recent years to save on the costs of room and board. The costs of dorm housing and meal plans, or an apartment if you are living off-campus, can easily add well over $25,000 for the course of a four year degree. You’ve already endured 18 years under your parents roof, what is four more years?
While you likely already had your dream school picked out, consider completing your first two years at a community college. Your future employer doesn’t care where you went to school or for how long; more likely that they care you have a degree at all and earned good grades. Community colleges can knock out those prerequisite courses at a fraction of the price, an average of $7,000 or more per year. Then you can move onto your dream school for the real course work and experience.
Whether you choose to live at home and attend community college for the first two years or not, at least do yourself the favor of working while in school. This may mean you take longer to graduate by reducing your course load each semester, but earning a paycheck will help cover living expenses and (hopefully) enough to cover some of your tuition costs. If you were to work part time at 20hrs/week at minimum wage you can net around $600 a month. Doesn’t sound like much if you are footing the bill for an apartment or dorm room, but if you were living at home that money could go into a savings for next semesters tuition.