Some say that education is priceless, but it may end up costing you an arm and a leg, especially in a time where the student loan system’s flaws are becoming more and more apparent. Fear not, though — there are still ways for you to get the most educational bang for your student buck.
This is the obvious place to start looking. You don’t have to be a genius or a sports star to apply for and get a scholarship. While some college scholarships are based on merit, such as academic achievements or a special talent, others are based on financial need. You can learn more about scholarships at a college’s financial aid office, with a high school or TRIO counselor, at the U.S. Department of Education, federal agencies, your state grant agency, or in your library’s reference section, just to name a few.
The White House website has recently made available a new feature called the College Scorecard, which is meant to help students calculate the potential cost of attending a particular university, based on criteria such as college location, campus size and setting, degrees and majors, and more; and using the following five factors: costs, graduation rate, loan default rate, median borrowing, and employment.
Getting a Job
This is nothing new. Many students get a part-time or even a full-time job to afford college fees. In addition to that, students are more likely to apply themselves and work harder to pass their courses if they’re paying their college expenses on their own. They would surely want to make the most of their hard earned cash, and not have to repeat a course which would be a waste of money and time, as well.
Federal Student Aid
This is a part of the U.S. Department of Education that provides more than $150 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds every year to more than 15 million students paying for college or career school.
College Financial Offices
Pretty much every college has a financial aid office set up to help students bear the financial burden of attending classes there. For instance, the Harvard College Financial Aid Office says that more than 60 percent of undergraduates will receive approximately $172 million in need-based Harvard Scholarship aid in the 2012-2013 school year.
The economy of college towns is often built upon the business the students bring to them. Accordingly, shops and restaurants located near universities usually offer students discounts, all they have to do is show a student ID.
Second Hand Bookstores
The information stored in a textbook is always the same regardless of whether the book is new or old, as long as it is in good condition. You can save a lot of money by purchasing your textbooks at a second hand bookstore.
A Student Checking Account
Banks that offer college students free checking and savings accounts, allow you to circumvent fees on withdrawals, fund transfers or the minimum amount allowed in the account.
Attending a college that is located in your own state is a way to save as opposed to going to a university far away. For instance, you can stay with your parents while you finish your degree, and save on food, boarding and laundry.
Use Your College Amenities
Part of the tuition payment includes several services that colleges offer their students for free, such as on-campus entertainment, movie rentals from the library, gym membership, intramural sports activities, dorm dinners, guest lecture series and student clubs. Make sure you take advantage of all of them.
This article is provided courtesy Pocket Savvy, a personal finance website with the best money-saving tips and financial resources to help you improve your money management skills. Follow Pocket Savvy on Twitter and connect on Google+ and Facebook.