Posted February 26, 2013 by

Make College More Affordable with these Five Great Tips

Piggy bank for college fund

Piggy bank for college fund. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

When you begin researching colleges and degree programs, it’s easy to get caught up with the cost – specifically the cost per credit hour. But before choosing a college, it’s also important to look inside the cost of tuition because it often includes a number of hidden fees – everything from books to parking and living expenses. No one wants to pay for things they don’t need, but students often do without even realizing it.

Then, you need to consider what types of services are available to you as a student. Will the college help you apply for financial aid? Will it help you start your career? Rasmussen College put together these five great tips to help make college more affordable.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get all the answers you need to make the right decision for yourself financially. College is an investment in your future. You want to be as knowledgeable as possible in the money you are borrowing and what it will look like when you begin repaying. At Rasmussen College, each student sits down and goes over a financial plan estimate with their Financial Services Student Advisor. The estimate gives the student a rough idea of what their loan repayment will be at the end of their program.
  2. Look for scholarship and grant opportunities within your college and beyond, but be careful where you look. Many colleges will provide a list of credible websites to look into. There are many scams out there, so you want to be sure you are only giving your personal information to credible websites.
  3. Don’t pay more for your degree than you have to. Look for a college or degree program that accepts transfer credits. This not only saves you money, but also accelerates your degree timeline, so you can start working faster. Also, look for a college that includes course materials fees in their tuition, so you’re not paying more out of pocket down the road to complete your degree.
  4. Take advantage of employee benefits. If you’re already working, ask your company if it offers tuition assistance. Some colleges may also have partnerships with a company or organization.
  5. Choose a college that has career placement services to help you in your job search. Most have access to employment databases that you would otherwise pay for. Look for career services advisors who work with students one on one, helping with resumes, as well as interviewing and networking skills. That way a student is ready to start his or her career by the time they finish their degree.

By: Molly Andersen

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