Paying for college is hard, which is why most students have to rely on student loans to cover their costs. But the more you save on the cost of college in the first place, the less you have to borrow. In light of that, here are four hidden ways to save on the cost of college.
- Capitalize on cheaper college credits. If your school charges a flat-rate fee per semester and you’ve got the ambition, take an extra class each semester and graduate early. Or take your general requirements at a cheaper community college or an online university—just make sure the credits will transfer before you enroll.
- Claim any tax credits available for tuition costs. Tuition and college expenses may be tax deductible, and you or your parents might qualify for other tax credits, including the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit.
- Understand your expenses and their alternatives. Do the research. Are you required to live on campus? Are you required to have a meal plan? Is an apartment nearby cheaper? Do you really need a car? Knowing these answers can save you bundles.
- Switch from credit to debit. Both cards are convenient, but with debit you don’t risk spending more than you have or missing payments, which could hurt your credit score. Also, you won’t have to worry about paying interest, which is just wasted money.