It’s no surprise that college can be expensive. The cost of tuition, books, fees, and living expenses and room and board, can add up. The good news is, college is much more affordable if you plan ahead. But even if you’re in your final years of high school, there are still plenty of things you can do now to make college more affordable.
- Start Saving. It’s never too early (or too late) to start saving for college. Even a small amount of savings is better than none at all! Skipping a few lattes and after-school snacks can add up over time. Consider opening a savings account that’s just for future college expenses. Talk to your parents/guardians about the different types of education savings accounts.
- Research and apply for scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs. Whether you’re a first-year high school student or you’re graduating this year, understanding your financial aid options and the FAFSA will help make college more affordable. You can save on everything from tuition costs and books to housing and food. Also, research in-state tuition discounts and transfer programs.
- Get a part-time job. A job can help pay for living expenses and help make college more affordable. Get creative with the type of work you choose. Consider looking for a job or paid internship in a field you’re interested in studying. You can earn extra money and get the real-world experience you can add to your college application or work resume.
- Take college classes online or at a community college. Most colleges require students to take general education classes during their first two years. But did you know you can save money by taking some of these classes online or at a community college while you’re still in high school? You can get quality education and college credit for a fraction of the cost of a four-year university.
Don’t let the college costs stop you from getting the education you deserve. Explore your financial aid options, consider taking a few college classes in high school, and start saving now! With a little planning and creativity, you can lower your college costs before you even get to college!