College costs are up and earning power is down. How can families afford college in this new economic environment? Here are four suggestions for shouldering college costs.
- Choose less expensive schools. School located close to home can save travel expenses. Community colleges offer a way to earn cheaper credits either during the summer or for the first two years of a four-year degree. Also, check the U.S. News Short List for colleges that leave students with the most debt and steer clear.
- Consider not paying for a dorm room. There with be commuting costs, but they will not equal the cost of room and board. No meal plan is cheaper than eating leftovers from the family frig.
- Take advantage of scholarships. There are many scholarships out there if you take the time to look. And, there is no limit on the number of scholarships you can have. If you have 5 or more $1,000 scholarships, that can mean big savings.
- And, don’t forget to dedicate monies to the college fund, even if you start only a year or two before junior goes off to campus. Cut extraneous costs, like the price of coffee from Dunkin’. Put 10% of Sally’s paycheck away before she can spend it. Even cutting out a family vacation can save several hundred dollars. Every dollar saved means less spent or borrowed on college costs.