Everybody dreams about what their first day of college will be like. It’s normal to wonder about the people you’ll meet, what experiences you might be exposed to and the sense of school spirit that will develop. However, being able to pay for that dream is another issue entirely.
College isn’t cost-effective in any sense of the phrase, and it’s only getting more expensive. Your parents beginning to save when you’re young is the best method of preparing for that cost, but that’s not always possible.
Here’s a quick look at a few hacks to help you along your way.
Whether you’re looking to go to the University of Alabama for marketing and finance or are looking to attend one of the Occupational Therapy Colleges in Illinois, expect there to be five-figure costs per year involved.
The typical cost for a 4-year college, including room and board, tuition, books and materials, lab and other fees, is right at $50,000, and that’s if you’re an in-state student. A scholarship may not pay all of the aforementioned costs, but it can take a good chunk out of it. Look into and apply for as many scholarships as you can.
Work for It
If this is something you have yet to do, go out and find a job, even if you get an online job. This can provide you with a substantial enough boost to your income that it may make saving seemingly seamless.
It doesn’t matter if the job you get is at a fast-food restaurant, a supermarket, or anywhere else that’s legal. Work full time in the summer if the laws in your area allow it and part-time during the school year. Save a portion from each paycheck you get for college. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it adds up.
Speaking of Saving
If you’re looking to find out how much you should save and a time frame for it, there isn’t really an exact answer. However, the sooner you begin saving money, the better. There are all sorts of savings calculators online and they can make the calculations a bit easier for you.
College is expensive but worth it since many companies will not even glance at your resume if you don’t have a degree to go along with it. If you hope to get through it without drowning under the weight of student loans, begin saving now.
One way you can make a bit of extra moolah is to sell your stuff that you aren’t using anymore. As an example, if you have an older phone just sitting in the drawer, trade it in at one of the outlets that buy used phones. You might also have a good old-fashioned yard sale or even sell your things online. However, you might need your parents to assist you with doing that as most sites require you to be over the age of 18 to sell things. You also need to be cautious when it comes to meeting people who’ve bought things online. You never know their intentions.
While most parents will do what they can to assist you, it’s only to your advantage and can build the sense of self-worth that you have if you take the initiative to help pay for your own education. Most students feel as if it’s their responsibility anyway. It can also make you feel as if that diploma you get at the end of the educational journey was well-earned while setting you on the right path for being responsible in the long-term when it comes to your personal financial management.