With today’s high cost of a college education, students and parents are accumulating higher and higher education debt loads. The average student now graduates with student loans totaling over $26,000 according to the most recent statistics. And parents are taking other loans in the form of PLUS loans, home equity and 401K loans that are also be used to pay for the college education.
Hope and Solutions.
Most families are focusing on ways to get federal, state and university financial aid programs to pay more of the bill for their education, but in reality, these sources are limited.
The other side of the dilemma is often overlooked by students and families. This is the expense reduction and cost savings side of the equation. For many students, if they take an active and aggressive approach to reducing expenses, they can get the same high quality education and college experience for less and with substantially less loans.
Lets look at the multitude of ways that you can begin reversing the direction of your cash outflow by learning the specific areas of savings that any student, on any college campus, in any state can begin using to turn the tides and save money.
College Savings Start Early.
One of the biggest ways to waste money in college is the selection of the wrong college. If a student changes colleges after one or two semesters, it almost always lengthens their college career from four years to four and a half, or even six years. This can cost thousands of dollars extra. So a thorough college search, including open houses, campus tour and visitation programs may cost a couple hundred dollars up front, but will save thousands if your student graduates on time or even early.
Also the cost of college applications is no small matter when many cost between $15 – $65 each just to apply. Following the right college search guidelines, you will find many universities willing to provide a FREE application as a reward for your efforts.
College Freshman Savings.
This area starts with proper planning and knowledge of the strategies and inner workings of the college campus. Everything from textbooks, meal plans and campus housing arrangements leave many cost saving options hidden to those that are unaware of their existence. I am always amazed at how many students eventually find this information by their third or fourth year, then realize how much they could have saved during their first two or three years, if they had only known.
Second, Third and Fourth Year Savings.
After freshman year, more options become available to the average student. Unfortunately, the guidance given to upper-class students in these areas is almost nonexistent. Once the college has hooked a freshman, they spend very little effort to keep your business.
But that can be easily corrected if you are armed with the knowledge of what needs to be done. You have to take the initiative, see the right people, call the right departments and request the right forms to see any of these available savings or increased aid added to your bottom line. Most students never even apply because it isn’t openly advertised.
The Final Area… For Many.
Many students desire, or are compelled, to attend graduate school to get a job. The college is more than happy to accept your payment for these classes by check, credit card or student loan, if you are so inclined to continue handing it over.
But for those students that learn the right strategies and set them up in advance, they can usually get the college to pay for some or all of their graduate study and save tens of thousands of dollars or more in the process. In many cases you can get money from the college and get money from local businesses or future employers that will gladly help to advance your education in return for paid employment opportunities during your studies or upon graduation.
The key with all these savings is to know what they are and find out how to start them before your opportunity is lost. To learn more about these strategies and discover additional ways to cut the cost of your college education, click here to visit my Amazon Author Page. Congratulations… your savings begin here. http://www.amazon.com/Keith-D.-Maderer/e/B0045KGSC0/