Getting a formal, university education is pretty much required in almost every industry if you want to go far in your chosen career these days. And, while there are some jobs out there that don’t require you to have earned a degree, you will usually find that, in order to land that well-paying entry level job that you want and be in with a better chance of moving your way up the ranks, it pays to go to university.
But the down side is that student life can be expensive. Although almost every student will be eligible for some kind of financial support in the form of student loans, these don’t come free, and most graduates spend the rest of their lives repaying them. And it’s not just the cost of tuition that you need to think about. If you’ve decided to return to education later in life, there’s the issue of taking time off work to get to where you want to be, and then there’s all the other costs like buying textbooks, getting to classes, and paying for accommodation if you’re relocating to study in another city. But the good news is that earning your university degree certainly doesn’t have to break the bank. We’ve listed some of the main ways that today’s financially savvy students are hitting their academic goals and saving money in the process.
#1. Study Online:
One of the biggest ways to save money on the cost of your entire university education is to study online rather than taking the traditional route and going to a physical campus. Of course, this means that you won’t get to do all the usual, university things like living in halls of residence – but online universities are getting better and better at helping their students socialise, so meeting new friends, joining societies, and getting an all-rounded, student-life experience shouldn’t be a problem. Tuition is often cheaper when you study online as it is usually classed as part-time, and since you have the flexibility to work while you study, you probably won’t need to borrow further maintenance loans, which will make your total bill cheaper.
And, when you study with an institution like SCU Online, you’ll find yourself spending less on the associated costs that come with attending university. Most of the textbooks will be freely provided to you online, and you won’t need to pay for putting fuel in your car and parking or taking public transport to get to classes.
If you’d prefer to learn hands-on and get into your chosen career as quickly as possible, then an apprenticeship might be a great way for you to achieve your educational goals and save money at the same time. Apprenticeships are a popular choice for school leavers, but you can find apprenticeships that are suitable for adults, with some taking on anyone up to the age of 24 or older.
Generally, you will be paid for the work that you do as an apprentice, and you may also be required to attend certain college classes along with completing assignments and exams relating to your work. Although the pay of apprenticeships tends to be lower than the minimum wage that you would earn in regular work, you may find some employers who are willing to pay more than others. And the fact that you do not need to pay for your learning makes an apprenticeship an attractive option for anybody who wants to get into a well-paying career without having to worry about repaying tuition fee and maintenance loans.
#3. Study Locally:
Do you want to go to university but are worried about the high cost involved with moving away from home and living in student accommodation? If so, studying locally might be a cheaper option for you. If you are able to live with your parents for free or at a very cheap rate while you study, this may mean that you don’t have to take out any maintenance loans whilst you study, reducing the overall amount that you will need to repay to student finance in the future.
More and more students are choosing to commute from their family home to university due to the amount of money that they can save in the process. And, with many universities organising on-campus events for socialising and going out and getting into something new, you don’t need to worry about missing out on the full experience. In fact, many students who commute will have friends who live on campus or in nearby student houses and are able to stay with them when needed. And don’t forget t if commuting from home doesn’t work out because you feel you’re missing out on too much as you can always switch to living on campus in your second or third years.
#4. Other Ways to Save Money:
Aside from your tuition fees and the amount that you’ll need to spend on rent, bills, and all the other essentials whilst you’re studying, you’ll need to buy things like textbooks, stationary, electronics, clothing, and much more. The cost of these things can quickly add up when you’re on a tight, student budget. The good news is that there are plenty of ways students can save money. First, take advantage of any student discounts that are available to you – there are many free apps that can provide you with discount codes for a range of online and offline retailers, and it may be worth paying a little bit of money for annual, paid discount cards.
And, when it comes to textbooks, there’s no need to splash your cash. Check out your university library first. If you only need a textbook for a short amount of time, then borrowing it from there is a much cheaper alternative, and some university libraries will allow you to borrow books that they have plenty of for an extended period of time. It’s also worth looking for second-hand textbooks from former students – eBay and social media selling groups are great for this.
Getting the education you need doesn’t have to be as costly as you think.