Next to a home, one of the biggest expenses that a person will ever have to deal with is the cost of going to college. With millions of families dealing with decreased household incomes and diminished savings, many students will find that their families just aren’t in a position to assist with the expenses of a higher education. College students will find themselves tightly clutching their wallets and squeezing every cent that they can out of a very dry purse. With one son in college and another that will be going to college this year, I started researching ways to cut down the costs of college a few years ago and I would like to share the tips I found with you.
Out of State College Costs
It’s a well known fact that in-state colleges are far cheaper than out of state colleges. Students can get around this cost by establishing residency in the state of the desired college for at least one year. Some easy ways to get around this is to stay with friends or relatives for at least a year prior to attending to school. This is also a situation where children of divorced parents can benefit easier. In my situation I live in another state than my ex-wife. This allowed children to establish residency at two addresses by getting bank statements and driver’s licenses in the state opposite where they attended high school.
High School Credits
The more class credits you can get in high school the better. For my sons, we did a lot of research to find things that would look best on their college application and stumbled upon a great way to save cash on tuition. By taking advanced placement courses, my sons not only earned high school credit and got accepted into their respective university choices, they also earned college credits in several course areas that have allowed them to forego these classes in college.
Besides tuition and rooming, one of the biggest expenses that new college students will have to deal with is the costs of text books. New books these days can cost students as much as $500 just for the books. Students can always find reduced prices buying used books, but now students have a new and highly economical option. Renting textbooks has become big business and can cost students just a fraction of the cost of purchasing them new. You can also find many of these resources online and get the books in a few days.
Financial Aid as an independent adult
We’re all quite aware of the many financial aid opportunities available to students. What many don’t know is that they can attempt to enter college as an independent adult and possibly qualify for a large number of financial aid opportunities that may not have been available to them as a dependent. The Pell Grant and many other items aren’t available to families that have an adjusted gross income in excess of $50,000 per year and entering school as an independent adult, could make these accessible to you.