Attending college is a great way to advance your career goals, discover your passions, and meet new and exciting people. While it is a great opportunity, it is also a hefty and worthwhile investment. It is important to try and reduce your costs and expenses to make college as affordable as possible. Here are some helpful tips to help make your dollars go further while you are attending college.
- The best way to cut down on costs and save money on college and tuition is to make sure you are able to graduate on time! If you are short a few credits or even a few courses at the end of your final semester, you will likely end up having to pay thousands of extra dollars that you could have avoided. Make sure to meet with your advisor regularly to ensure that you are on track and taking the appropriate courses to fulfill your degree requirements and graduate on time.
- Don’t skip out on credits. Always take a full course load each semester. Fulltime students should typically take between 14-21 course credits per semester to stay on track. Taking 12 or fewer credits will significantly set you back and you won’t be able to graduate on time unless you take extra the following semester, which can be quite stressful. In addition, if you are paying full time tuition, you are paying for a full course load, whether you take the classes or not, meaning you are throwing money away.
- Set budgets for fun activities. In college you will naturally want to partake in activities and go out to eat with friends. However, it is essential that you set a realistic and reasonable budget. Set money aside for food, shopping, and activities like the movies, plays or bowling.
- Do not change your major after your junior year. By junior year your major should be set in stone. This way you are on track to completing your major in time for graduation and you can take major specific classes. During the first two years you can explore options, take prerequisite classes and take the time to decide which major is right for you. After junior year however, changing majors can be very difficult since you may need to take different prerequisites to be accepted in to major specific classes.
- Lastly, rent your books! Course textbooks can be one of the most expensive costs of college, often costing you hundreds and hundreds of dollars each semester. Unfortunately, most of them will never be used again. Renting books can allow you to get the books for a fraction of the cost. You will have the books for the entire semester and simply need to return the books in good condition by the end of the semester to avoid extra late fees.
Saving money in college, whether you go to Northeastern University or a community college can be a challenge, but if you plan accordingly you can help to reduce costs and make college much more affordable. Be sure to plan your classes to gradate on time, take a full course load every semester, set budget for food and activities, never change your major after junior year and rent your textbooks. These tips will make a huge difference and allow you to keep more money in your wallet!