How to Save Money on College Expenses

Barry Lenson

How to save money on college expensesReporter Megan Kowalski interviewed personal finance consultant Hitha Prabhakar for USA Today recently, and came up with some excellent strategies for cutting college costs. If you’re heading to college soon, you’ll want to check out Kowalski’s article for yourself.

Some of Prabhakar’s winning strategies include: using used furniture and textbooks . . . buying supplies as you need them instead of in one pop . . . ditching your car . . . taking a roommate . . . completing AP classes in high school to knock them off ahead of time. 

Those are all good ways to cut expenses. But because we’re StraighterLine, we have some other ideas too.

The biggest one is to complete most of your core curriculum courses online at StraighterLine.  We’ve got a great selection of them here, ranging from science courses to math, and Western Civilization. Taking these courses online can save you thousands of dollars – maybe even more than $10,000, as some StraighterLine students have reported. They’ve completed most of their freshman year requirements before setting foot on campus and saved a lot of money in the process.

Save Even More on College!

How much can you save while you’re taking courses online instead of on campus?  Here’s a quick list of costs that you’ll avoid for as long as you are taking courses online . . .

  • Steep college tuition costs, which typically run about $20,000 at state schools, and about twice that at private colleges.
  • Transportation and parking, which can run $75 or more a week, depending on your commute to campus.
  • Room and board fees, which can run in the $8,000 - $10,000 range at many colleges.
  • Dormitory fridge, furnishing and other supplies, which can set you back $500 or more.
  • Student activity fees, which vary a lot, but which can set you back $200-300 or more at many colleges.
  • A whole new wardrobe, which can run a ton, depending on your taste and budget. But even if you dress simply, chances are you’re going to want to spend something on some new duds for school.

If you add up those expenses, you’ll determine pretty quickly that knocking off most of your freshman-year college courses online at StraighterLine is going to put money in your pocket – big money. We’re talking $20,000, $30,000 or even more.

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