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.

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. Your employer may 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. 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 cable channels.

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 each year. It is important to keep your grades up because this can save you money on tuition costs. Apply annually for every scholarship you are eligible for. Even partial scholarships can save you money now and in the future. This can help reduce the amount you need to earn or borrow to get by.

Start at a Community College

Community College
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If a four-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 four-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.