If you’re deciding whether or not to go to college or university you should know that further education is proven to increase your potential earning power by more than $19,000 per year according to the U.S. Census. There’s clearly then an advantage then to investing in yourself and your chosen studies. But this investment leaves a lot of young people with huge debt and financial commitments before they have even secured their first job and so for some the thought of having to pay off so much debt so early in their careers is just too much to bear.
However there are some things you can do to stop yourself running up huge debt whilst studying. Here are 7 of the best ideas for studying without breaking the bank.
- Consider AP or IB Level High school courses; Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses are more demanding than traditional high school classes but they offer college-grade points that mean you could reduce a future course by up to a year. This values them at several thousands of dollars and they can be studied whilst still at school. You will need excellent grades or have a teacher’s recommendation to qualify so work hard and you could be financially better off.
- Study for college whilst in high school; if you don’t qualify for AP or IB courses then you can still study towards college whilst you’re in high school. There are plenty of online college courses to choose from or you can choose to study at a community college whilst still in high school and work towards knocking a few semesters of your future college course.
- Find a free college; believe it or not some colleges in the US actually offer free education so it’s worth doing your research. You can find 10 of the best free colleges in the US here
- Choose a prestigious university; this might not sound like good financial advice in terms of the cost of fees but many of the big 10 universities in the US have big financial donors that are willing to put their hands in their pockets to help bright students who might not be able to afford to attend university otherwise.
- Be honored; if you have a strong academic history you could apply to the honors programme at the university you wish to study at. If you’re successful you could get part of your tuition paid and/or money towards books depending on the terms of the individual institution.
- Earn a scholarship; it is good practice to apply for a scholarship as if successful you could get your courses paid in full. There are many different types of scholarships and they are very competitive so it’s worth putting in the work to get one secured. You can find out more information on at Scholarship Finder.
Get a job; the most obvious way of raising money whilst studying is to work both through high school to raise funds for future study and during further education to continue to pay the fees. You could also choose to combine work and study by getting an employer subsidize your fees.