Don't Borrow Too Much for College

5 Ways to Save Money on College Expenses

It is vital that you limit the amount you take out in student loans. A financial college checklist can help you reduce the amount you need to borrow and take advantage of all of your funding options. You have large amounts of money easily available to you when you are attending college.

You can get loans through government-sponsored programs both subsidized and unsubsidized. Additionally, you can borrow a lot through private companies. These loans come with higher interest rates and fees. You need to realize that you have to pay back every penny you borrow. Additionally, you will have to pay interest on that money. This will limit what you can do with your money in the future.

It is important to carefully monitor your college spending and to avoid these five common college financial mistakes. Here are five ways to limit the amount you spend while in college.

Choose an Affordable School

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You can limit the amount you spend by choosing a college with lower tuition rates. There are excellent state schools that offer much lower in-state tuition costs. This will save you a significant amount of money. It is important to realize that your education is what you make of it, and there are few fields where it is necessary to have attended the most prestigious (and expensive) schools in the country. The book Debt-Free U talks about how to choose a good school at a good price.

Get a Job

Another way that you can reduce the amount you borrow is to work while you are in school. You can work both during the school year and in the summers. If you decide to only work during the summers you may want to work more than one job. This will give you less time to spend the money that you earn and increase your saving power. Save a good percentage each month to help cover the cost of tuition and other college expenses.

Have Your Employer Pay for Your Tuition

In addition to working, you may consider finding a job that will pay for you to attend college. This is great because then you do not have to worry about tuition costs at all. Your employer will require that you work at the company for a set amount of time after you graduate. This may range from one to three years. They simply want the investment they made to pay off. Additionally, you may earn on-the-job experience in the field you are planning on working in.

Live Like a Student

Budget your money and live like a student. Many students are spending like crazy while they are in college. If you are borrowing student loans to help you go on weekly or even monthly shopping sprees, you need to seriously check your spending habits.

One of the greatest benefits of being a college student is the freedom that you have. Enjoy it, but limit your spending. You can have fun without going broke. You should look at your college housing options and choose the most affordable when it comes to living on or off-campus. You can work to reduce the amount you spend on living expenses each month. Avoid signing up for monthly contractual obligations that require you to pay a fee to cancel like gym memberships or television.

Keep Up Your Grades

College students in class
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Another way you can save money is to apply for scholarships and grants. Be active in doing this year. It is important to keep your grades up because this can save you money on tuition costs. Apply for every scholarship you are eligible for each year. Even partial scholarships can save you money now and in the future. This can help reduce the amount you need to work.

Start at a Community College

Community College
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If a 4-year university is out of your budget, you may want to consider starting for the first year or two at a community college and then apply to transfer to a traditional 4-year school. Many community colleges provide a good education in a variety of classes that will earn you college credits, but come at much lower cost. Being closer to home also may give added flexibility to earn money with a part-time job. Once you transfer and graduate, you will still receive your bachelors degree, but with only paying for the years you attend.