Tips To Manage the Increasing Cost of a College Education

Written by , October 2, 2013

Tips To Manage the Increasing Cost of a College EducationIf you have a child in college or headed to college soon, the rising costs may be causing you some sleepless nights. According to Bloomberg Reports, college tuition has increased 1,120 percent over the past 30 years. No other industry has experienced the same degree of price inflation.

Nor have household income levels come close to increasing at the same rates. This means that the cost of higher education is increasingly becoming something that American families are finding difficult to afford.

Here’s some banking advice to consider before you resign yourself to years of paying off student loan debt, there are steps you can take to better manage the rising costs of college.

  • Grants and Scholarships. There are thousands of opportunities for college students to get grants and scholarships to help reduce the cost of their education. Yes, it can feel like a full-time job seeking these opportunities and applying for them. But unlike loans, grants and scholarships do not have to be paid back.
  • Use All Informational Resources. The U.S. Department of Education provides a wealth of information on how to find and apply for grants and scholarships (http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/grants-scholarships/finding-scholarships). Additionally, the schools your child is attending or applying to should also have resources to find and apply for these money saving opportunities.
  • Leverage Your Local Community College. More and more students are turning to their local community college to help curb the costs of their four year education. While community colleges generally only offer two year degrees and certifications, many four year institutions accept transfer credits for the fundamental and entry level classes. Community college tuition is usually much less expensive than four year public and private schools.
  • Get Through School More Quickly. Leveraging the community college strategy even more, students can also take classes at a community college and four year school simultaneously, or take summer credits at the community college, in order to graduate sooner. Or a student can double up on courses at their college or university in order to graduate in less than four years. Remember that when a person is attending school they won’t have as much time to work and earn money. The sooner they can graduate and begin earning, the better.
  • Stay In State. Despite the rising costs of a college education, it’s almost always less expensive to attend school in your state of residence. In fact, it’s often two or three times more expensive to attend college out of state. And if a student’s ideal school is out of state, another option is to attend the in state school for two years to get the core courses out of the way and then transfer to the out of state school for the remainder of their education.
  • As with any major expense, the sooner you begin saving for it the easier it will be to manage the expense. In addition to tuition, you’ll want to budget for living expenses, books, and travel to and from school. College is expensive and getting more costly every year, but most experts still agree that it’s a worthwhile investment.

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