It seems that every time you turn around you hear about how expensive college is and how the cost only continues to rise. Many wonder if the cost of a college degree is even really worth it anymore with tuition prices running rampant and outpacing inflation.
Even with all the doubt, the stats still tell us it is. Statistically speaking, having a college degree helps you earn a better salary for your career than if you had chosen not to stick to it and land your degree. So how can you get your degree and do so without going completely broke – or worse, in debt that you’ll be paying on for years to come?
Here are two big ways to help you do just that…
Steer Clear of the Campus Bookstore
Just about every college class will require one, sometimes multiple textbooks. You can easily end up paying anywhere from $25 or so to hundreds of bucks for each book that you need. Your college campus is bound to have a bookstore where they conveniently offer all of the books that each class requires. What you may not know though, is that by shopping here you’re paying much more than you really need to for your college textbooks. If you’re trying to save money, you don’t want to buy books from the campus bookstore unless you absolutely have to.
Instead, get online. You are very likely to be able to find any book that you could ever need for any kind of class online much cheaper. You can visit sites that sell used textbooks, as well as find a lot of sites that allow you to rent your books – both will help you save a lot of money vs. buying new textbooks.
Being able to rent books online is awesome, because many times you won’t ever use that book after you’ve passed the class. So why pay a bunch of money for a book you’ll never use again? Chegg is one of the most popular places to get college textbooks. Also, talk to your instructor and see if it will be ok to use an earlier version of the book.
Take Advantage of Community College
Community colleges are normally much cheaper than four-year universities and there are lots of really good community colleges. You can easily save a ton of money by doing your first two years in a local community college. Most of that time will be spent on basic courses, anyways. Just make sure you talk to the university and find out for sure that they will accept your full credits from the community college you’re considering.
Sometimes there are other perks, too. For example… Temple University and the Community College of Philadelphia have an agreement. If you go to the community college for two years and transfer to Temple, you can get merit scholarships. Transferring with a minimum 3.65 grade point average will get you a $2,000 scholarship at Temple. A minimum of 3.3 can get you a $1,000 scholarship… and that’s on top of the savings you’re already getting.