If you are looking to go back to college, then you will want to keep your budget in check. Sadly, the costs of going back to college can potentially pile up. The good news is that you can find several ways to cut costs.
Here are 12 ways where you could save big when you go back to college.
Ways to Cut the Cost of Going Back to College
Start at a community college
One of the best places to potentially save big money is by opting for a community college. If you have not decided on a major yet, then a community college will allow you to get some of the mandatory college courses completed before you move on to a state school. Overall, a community college education should run at a fraction of the price of a state university or private college.
Check for college scholarships
You will be surprised by how many college scholarships are available. For example, you can find scholarships based on your expertise in sports, computers, art, or a host of other categories. You can also find scholarship opportunities based on gender, race, or ethnic background. You can perform a search for scholarships at the following sites:
Find part-time work online
Finding part-time work may be a great way to help you have cash in your pocket while you are in college. You can find several places where you can make money online while working just a couple of hours a week. No matter what your expertise, there is likely someone out there who will pay for your services.
Here is a look at some of the places where you can find work online:
Fiverr - You can sell freelance services online.
WriterAccess - You can write articles and get paid.
Upwork - You can sell your professional services for short-term or long-term projects.
Ask for practical giftsIf you have a birthday or a holiday coming up, then you can use that opportunity to ask for gifts that can help you lower your overall college costs. Here are some practical gifts that you can ask for:
- School stationery
- Mini fridge
- Gift Card
- Shoes or sneakers
- Buy used textbooks, laptops, and tablets
You don’t need to buy new. In fact, you can save hundreds of dollars by purchasing used textbooks, laptops, and tablets. Just about all colleges and universities will have stores that offer secondhand textbooks. Also, you can find several places online where you can purchase used laptops and tablets.
- Live with roommates
Living with roommates can go a long way to help you cover the cost of your rental. There are a couple of places where you can find college roommates that may be compatible with you.
- Cook your own food
You don’t need to eat out all the time. In fact, you may get some great savings by simply cooking your own food. There are several low-cost foods that do not require advanced cooking equipment. Here are some foods to consider:
- Microwave burritos
- Microwave pizzas
- Chicken nuggets
- Mac & Cheese
- Hot dogs
- Rice and beans
- Make your own coffee
Why spend up to $4 on coffee at a premium coffee shop when you can make great coffee for a fraction of the price? In fact, you can make your own gourmet coffee at a reasonable price. All you need is to buy coffee in bulk and find an affordable coffee maker.
Here’s a bonus coffee tip: Look at private label brands. Your local supermarket, as well as Walmart, Costco, and Target offer private label coffee that is usually priced lower than brand name coffee. These private label coffee brands generally offer the same level of quality at a better price.
- Plan to finish college in less than four years
Here’s a smarter way to potentially cut your college costs by up to 25%. By taking extra classes during your first three years of college, you can complete your requirements and get your degree in just three years. This can allow you to enter the workforce a year early. In the long run, that can put you ahead of others and allow you to save and invest.
Here are some tips that can help you complete your college degree in less time:
- Take summer classes.
- Take classes online.
- Take classes that are easier for you to complete.
- Take advantage of student discounts
There are stores that offer student discounts. From movie theaters to online stores, you can find several places that can offer a break on their prices. Here are some places where you can find out where student discounts are available:
- Make the most of free services and items at the college campus
There is a chance that your school is going to have some free services that may allow you to save some serious money. Here are some of the free services that are available on many college campuses:
- Study Area
- Health center
- Student life center
- Find free items on Craigslist, FreeCycle, or Facebook Marketplace
You may be able to find several free items on online boards that may help you offset the cost of going to college. Simply look at the free section, and you can find several items. Here are some items that are regularly available:
- Computer equipment
Acing your cost cutting while in college
You don’t need to be completely broke while you are in college. In fact, you may get all the things that you need for less than you’d expect. Simply follow some of the steps above. Before you know it, you will have a great college experience without having to be the typical starving college student.