How To Save Money On Your College Courses
With tuition, housing, food, and textbook costs, it's no wonder many students rack up debt. According to one website, students that graduated in 2017 had an average of $39,400 in student loan debt. While it's certainly normal to have some debt during this time, you don't want to overtax yourself and your budget. Here are some tips to save costs on your college courses.
Take Some of Your College Courses Online
One of the great benefits of online coursework is flexibility. Some students are go-getters and are able to complete a year or semester's worth of classes in a very short amount of time online, thus getting through their schooling more quickly! While some of these classes may require live video feeds at specific times, much of the classwork will be at your pace.
Because you can "attend" class any time of day, you can obtain a part-time job that you may otherwise have opted out of since regular school hours can often get in the way. If you are only taking one or two college classes, you could even get away with a 9-to-5 job and work on your online courses in the evening.
Besides giving you the flexibility to hold a job, online classes are usually hundreds of dollars less per credit hour than in-person university courses. Plus, you save time and money since you don't have to commute and pay for gas.
Keep in mind that online classes are best utilized in your early general education studies. General education classes often include basic math, writing, humanities, and science classes which make up the foundation of an undergrad degree. Advanced courses, like medical-based ones, often require internships, lab, and clinical hours, so online courses won't work.
Click here to learn more about what online college courses are offered.
Attend a Community College
One way to save money is to obtain an associate's degree at a community college and then transfer those credits to a four-year institution. If you attend a technical or vocational college, you may be able to complete an entire degree that is needed for your intended line of work.
There are some major cost advantages when attending a community college. You can save about $5,000 going to a community college instead of in-state school. And if you decide to go to a community college instead of a four-year private school, you could be saving as much as $20,000!
Test out of Classes
If you are still in high school, do your best to take advanced placement or international baccalaureate (AP/IB) coursework. If you do well in these courses' placement exams, you could test out of certain general education classes. Testing out of a class is a fantastic way to save money. Good SAT/ACT scores not only provide better enrollment odds, but they also can help you test out of certain classes.
If you are out of high school, you could look into the ALEKs test for math classes. The ALEKs test is merely an assessment tool to help you find the right math classes at your current level. However, ALEKS distributors do provide practice modules online so that if you want to retake their assessment—and you get a better score—you could potentially test out of lower-level math classes. Lastly, look into the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). There are thirty-six different subject areas that you could receive college credit for if you do well on the CLEP tests.
By gaining college credit by testing out of certain classes, you'll be able to save money and budget for more-difficult classes in your junior and senior years.
As you can see, there are many ways to further your education and save money. Contact a community college in your area or go online and research classes that would fit your schedule.