Cutting Back on College Costs – Part 1

It's time again for college.Each year thousands of college freshman make their way into dorm rooms across the nation. College costs are growing every day and many students are becoming more and more indebted while earning their college degree.

The average cost of a four-year degree is over $32,000 at a public university; the average college graduate is anywhere from $23,000 to $25,000 in debt by the time they graduate.

There are many ways to curb your college costs and get through your four (or five, or six) year plan. The most expensive part of college is tuition, so how can these costs be offset?

Know Your Price

As of 2011, colleges and universities who participate in Title IV federal student aid programs are required to have a net price calculator available to potential students. The calculators use school data and information from the student to provide a rough estimate of the cost of your degree program. College Board also has a college cost calculator that can estimate future college costs. For example, if you plan to go to your local state college in three years, you can plug in their current yearly tuition costs and see what they might be in three years. Knowing how much you will actually be paying is one way to take the guessing out of the equation.

Public vs. Private

One of the first steps toward your college degree is picking the right school for you. Public and private institutions can mean the difference between thousands of dollars. Public and local college tuition may be less than out-of-state private colleges and universities. Ivy League schools may also be pricier than a local private college or university. However, pricing is not everything and if the school of your dreams is costly; just be smart about finding financial aid to cover the costs.

Find a Scholarship (or Two)

The number of scholarship resources out there is countless. FastWeb is one of the largest scholarship websites available and an easy resource to set up. If the student is still in high school they can contact their guidance counselor for more sources. Contact the financial aid office of the institution you plan to attend for more scholarship opportunities. Applying for these financial aid goldmines can be tedious, but if you have time to Facebook you have time to search for scholarships.

Search for Grants

Grants are very similar to scholarships; however, they may not be as easy to find. It’s best to look for resources at the school you plan to attend as well as government grants such as the Pell grant or state grants. Grants may also be found by special interests, nationality, degree level, and more.

The Takeaway

Earning a college degree can cost you a pretty penny, but there are many ways to offset the costs. Being wise about financial aid and college costs is one way to avoid being indebted upon college graduation. AmOne can help you identify the best financial solution for your college needs, such as a personal loan for moving costs. Our knowledgeable associates are ready to answer your questions on credit, personal loans, unsecured loans, and more; contact us today.