Save Money on College Tip Seven: Brown Bag Your Education

Beth Dumbauld

Tips on saving money on collegeBy Beth Dumbaud

Today’s post is the seventh  in a series of short tips on how to save money on college.

Today’s tip is . . .

Brown Bag Your Education

Do you want to save money on college and graduate sooner? Here’s a powerfully simple strategy for you: Brown bag your education. 

If you are into saving money, you probably know that bringing your lunch to work can save you some serious cash over the course of the year. When you eat out, you’re paying for a whole bunch of unwanted overhead, packaging costs, employee salaries, a soggy pickle spear and a ton of extra calories sandwiched between two slices of bread – and those extras can add up over the course of a year.

The same goes for a college education. Taking college classes on-campus is like “going out” to earn college credits. When you do so, you are paying for extras that most likely have little to do with you or your goals. If you are working towards earning your nursing degree, it probably makes very little difference to you if the accounting department is being retrofitted with brand new pocket protectors. Likewise, when you are pursuing a degree in engineering, you probably don’t want to subsidize the costs associated with outfitting the health care department with new resuscitation dummies.

As an adult learner looking achieve your educational goals for the least amount of money necessary, look no further than online college courses.

Earning college credit through an online college course provider allows you to pay only for classes directly associated with your own goals. Completing college courses online allows you to, in effect, “brown bag” your education. If you are working on earning a nursing degree, you can pack your sack full of nursing prerequisites... and skip the pickles. If you are working on your business degree, you can layer your education with low-cost introductory college courses in business. Taking online college courses can offer the most cost-effective way to align your educational goals with a frugal mindset.

Here’s how you can dramatically save on your first year of college with the brown-baggin’-it concept:

Fact: 66% of American workers buy lunch on a regular basis at work.

According to a Workonomix Survey by Accounting Principals, this lunch expense costs them an average of $37/week or approximately $2,000/year.

Fact: 100% of StraighterLine students can complete a full freshman year worth of college courses for significantly less than it costs to buy lunch on a regular basis at work.

It’s true: StraighterLine offers a customizable Freshman Year bundle of courses for only $1299 – leaving you with $700 leftover for dessert... or anything else you want to spend it on.

StraighterLine’s Freshman Year allows you to enroll in 10 StraighterLine courses over the course of a year. You choose which courses. You choose when to enroll. Go through courses slowly or speed through them. It’s all about you and your academic needs, your academic goals. More importantly, you can get prerequisite college courses out of the way at a dramatically reduced cost over your typical first year of college. It’s like making your own lunch: you get exactly what you want, nothing wasted, nothing extra.

$1,299 for 10 college courses – that’s $43 per credit hour. At StraighterLine, you can quite literally use your lunch to finish a freshman year of college.
Beth Dumbauld is a writer who is passionate about helping others save money and time. She received her MBA from the University of Colorado and currently lives near Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Save Money on College Tip Four: Use CLEP Exams to Place Out of Courses
Save Money on College Tip Three: Place Out of Courses and Move Up
Save Money on College Tip Two: Go to a Three-Year College
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