Why College is Expensive and What You Can Do to Save

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Graduating from college is one of the best ways to secure a good job in the future. Although it’s not an assurance that you will get a job that pays big, it definitely gives you an edge over other applicants. According to statistics from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, college fees and tuition loads have increased by 439% from the late 1980s to the late 2000s while the common income rose about 147% through the same span of time.

stanford-univeristyHowever, research has also shown that even though there has been a big rise in college tuition fees, more people have actually enrolled in programs and classes, most of which are self-sustaining and taken by people working to pay for school.

Indeed, going to college has become more expensive, and with the financial crises we face today, finding ways to pay for school is a major issue for self-supporting students.

Cause of the rising cost

Why do college tuitions continuously grow? There are several factors that affect the rise of college expenses. One of these is the additional labor needed to cater to the rise of the student population; more staff and employees are hired to keep up with the sheer number of students. Another factor is the need to build more buildings and upgrade facilities to provide students the latest tools to help them learn. Other expenses would also include board and room, travel expenses, textbooks and school materials, and general expenses for living.

How can students save?

Minimum wages cannot keep up with the cost of college. However, there are a lot of ways that students can save money while getting the education they want. Most colleges and universities have a $30,000 price tag every year, but this would depend on what program the student is in. The most common thing college students would do is to get financial aid form different institutions and organizations. Some would also apply for scholarship programs especially if they have outstanding grades and achievements. Others join sororities or fraternities, private scholarships, sport scholarships, and federal or state grants. Some students who are already working would even ask for support from their employers in exchange for a certain number of years in the company or organization after they have finished their higher education.

Below are other ways that students can save on everyday expenses:

–        On-campus apartments, dorms and housing. These are typically more affordable compared to getting an apartment outside the school. Getting roommates if you prefer to live outside the campus also helps cut cost.

–        Plan your meals, buy your own groceries and cook meals from scratch.

–        Go for public transportation. It cuts gas cost and maintenance for private vehicles.

–        Buy and sell used books.

–        Use student privileges such as discounts. Always have your ID with you. Most college and university towns have businesses that provide special offers and discounts to students.

Even though the price of a good education is frightening, this should not be a reason to stop personal development. There are many way to save while getting a college diploma. With hard work, perseverance, and good money management skills, anyone can afford a college level education.

By: Nancy Claire – Degree Jungle writer, teacher, and researcher.

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