College fees are, frankly, high. Higher education institutions know that they can raise their prices to whatever level they want.
People will always want degrees that give them an advantage in the job market. Going directly from high school to the job market is not always possible.
However, going to college comes at a cost, both financial and emotional. Many students worry endlessly about their college debt and think about the fees they have to pay. It’s hard.
Plus, the amount of money you owe increases with each passing year, as does the pressure to perform. During the first year, debt levels appear manageable and the workload is low. But as you progress, things get more difficult and the amount of money you owe increases.
So what can you do to stop worrying about college debt? Is there an easy way out emotionally? Or do you have to worry about cash for the rest of your life?
Use tools to massively reduce the cost of your education
The first thing to do is take a practical approach to the subject of university fees. While the upfront costs may seem huge (and hard to afford), there are plenty of ways to bring the price down.
The first and most obvious is to choose a public university over a private one. Of course, this is a personal choice, but if costs are a big issue for you, you can often save money by going to a state university.
Data suggests annual fees for one of these are around $7,500 compared to more than $25,000 for a private alternative.
Then consider whether you might qualify for a scholarship. Universities will often pay for the education of the brightest students if they believe it will contribute positively to the university’s reputation. They are desperate for very talented students who show academic, musical or sports skills.
If you know you have a talent, then work on it. Don’t assume “there is someone better out there”. Instead, hone your skills today and do everything you can to earn money off the full price of tuition.
If you’re still stuck, check out these ten easy scholarship tips. Getting your application strategy right is just as important as developing your skills.
Next on the list is lowering the cost of going to a community college. For years people viewed these educational institutions as second best.
Recent evidence suggests that students who attend them often outperform those who attend regular universities in the job market.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you abandon your plans to go to a regular four-year course, but it’s interesting. A community college gives you skills that you can apply to the job market right away, without having to wait until you graduate.
change your mindset
But what if you’re already in college. What can you do to stop worrying about college fees?
Generally, you will need to have a mentality change. Going to college is expensive, but it usually sets you up for a much higher income in the future. People who go to college often earn tens of thousands of dollars more over their lifetimes, and sometimes much more.
Your priority must be to enter a golden profession, one that uses regulations to prohibit entry to people who have no qualifications. Teaching is, of course, an option. But the best are those who consistently pay higher salaries, like medical professionals and lawyers.
Changing the way you think is vital if you want to feel better about your college education. When you see it as an investment in your future, you immediately feel more positive about all the money coming out of your account each month.
But what else can you do to change your thinking and lower your college fees?
If your parents live close to campus, you don’t have to stay in the dorms for the full four years. In fact, you can save a great deal of money by moving off campus and living at home. Remember, dormitory costs are often as high as tuition fees, if not higher. Getting rid of these (and all the associated living costs) greatly reduces your expenses.
It is also important to avoid food on campus. College food fees tend to be higher than in normal daily life.
Students also cope better with fees and expenses when they embrace the concept of minimalism. This philosophy means stripping your life of all the superfluous details and focusing only on the things that matter.
Minimalists deliberately think about all the things that add value to their lives and then get rid of the rest.
So as a college student, you may want to consider whether you really need a car. You may also wonder if it makes sense to buy meaningless things for your student’s dorm room or if you can live without them. If you need clutter, use secondhand items. Don’t go out and buy expensive paints for your college dorm room walls.
Continue to Apply for Scholarships Throughout College
Even if you didn’t apply for a scholarship before you got to college, that doesn’t mean you missed the boat. Rather the opposite, in fact.
Most colleges allow students to continue to claim money from their fees or scholarships during their stay. This setup will allow you to continue working on your skills and proving yourself. If you know you are an excellent musician and you enjoy it, keep working hard to improve your skills. Likewise, if you think you’re academically talented, spend most of your afternoons working, not partying.
If scholarships are out of the question (or not worth working for), use your time productively in other ways. Start a side hustle on the nights you can afford to pay your bills. Don’t waste time or tell yourself that you need to focus on your studies when all it means is throwing yourself in front of the TV every night.
Track your expenses
Sometimes you may worry about college fees because you don’t really know what’s going on in your bank account. However, having a good idea of where your money is going is vital to allowing you to stay on top of things. Just knowing that your annual expenses are $15,000, but you’re making $10,000 back in a part-time job can make a world of difference in how you feel. Suddenly, you’re only racking up $5,000 per year in debt, which is perfectly manageable.
The range of money tracking apps it’s tremendous. They link to their accounts and then count their financial habits throughout their student life. Eventually, they make you a better planner. And they show you that you are not losing as much money as you think, especially if you find opportunities to generate additional income.
Ask family members for cash
You’ve probably already done it you asked your parents for money and it didn’t get very far. It’s okay, there are still plenty of other relatives out there, and many of them have money burning in their pockets.
Many students don’t ask their grandparents for money because they worry it will put them under pressure. The truth is that it will: they know they must use the money productively. Remember, they are always free to say “no,” so it’s worth a try. They could provide you with a substantial cash injection when you need it most.
so are you worry about college fees? Or do you have your finances under control?