Benjamin Franklin once said nothing is certain but death and taxes. We’d like to amend that list by adding a modern certainty: college costs will always go up. But that doesn’t mean getting an education results in going broke. Stay smart, spend less, and start budgeting. Here’s how:
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Money can’t buy happiness. But it can buy you an education. And a house. And a really nice vacation. That’s why we think spending less and saving more throughout college is an integral part of doing life the right way: affordably. However, when high college costs and poor financial planning combine, money becomes a barrier between students and their future–a barrier we’re committed to busting down. Thankfully SimpleTuition can help you:
Qualify for more financial aid
TuitionCoach can help you qualify for thousands of dollars in additional financial aid by coaching you and your family to structure your finances correctly. You already have a need. We’ll teach you how to prove it on paper.
- Typical savings: as much as $3,000 per year
The College Cost Adjuster helps you see what college really costs. You don’t have to compare schools by their sticker price anymore. Instead you can compare up to three schools at once and see what each will cost after financial aid and the cost of student loans. This will help you pick a school you can actually afford.
- Typical savings: as much as $2,000 per year
SimpleTuition’s award-winning student loan comparison tool often saves students like you–and their families–several thousand dollars per year in borrowing costs by displaying the cost differences among private lenders. We reveal the nitty-gritty so you don’t have to sift through the fine print all on your own. SimpleTuition can also help you evaluate the costs and benefits of consolidating your student debt, saving you even more.
- Typical savings: as much as $5,000 per year (or more)
Our Textbook Comparison Center lets you compare the cost of new, used, or electronic copies of books, helping you find prices you can afford. We’ll even search rental copies. There’s millions of books available and you could save up to 90% on each of them. The best part? There’s no longer a need to leave your campus bookstore feeling robbed. Then at the end of the semester use our service to sell your books and get some of that money back.
- Typical savings: as much as $500 per year
- For all you graduating seniors out there, or post-grads who still have mountains of student check, check out PayBackSmarter, a free-to-use website that helps you harness the power of interest to pay your loans back faster. Learn about payment plans, consolidation, and the power of extra payments to get out of debt and on with life.
- If you’re planning to take the ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT, and want help studying, check out our Test Prep Comparison Center. We compare 20,000+ online and in-person test prep courses then discount those courses up to 25%. You can finally improve your scores affordably.
- SmarterBank is an online checking account that comes with all the free bells and whistles you’ve come to expect. But what makes us different is our unique SmarterBucks rewards program, which earns you rewards on the money you’re already spending–and that money is used to make extra payments on your student loans.
These are estimates. We are confident in our ability to help you save at these levels, but individual experiences will vary. And if a penny saved is a penny earned, what does that mean about the value of a dollar? Simple. Every one you don’t have to borrow is one you don’t have to pay back later with interest.
While most scholarships are based on academic merit and well-written personal statements, some reward students for more…non-traditional qualities or skills. Like being able to design a tuxedo out of duct tape. Check out that and more crazy scholarships below:
- The Duck Tape® Stuck at Prom Contest: Their website describes this contest plainly enough: “The Stuck at Prom® Scholarship Contest challenges students to create and accessorize their prom outfits with duct tape, then wear them to prom for a chance to win scholarship cash prizes.” At least you won’t have to wear a proper tuxedo or spend hundreds of dollars on a dress you’ll only wear once.
- The Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest: High School seniors may compete for college scholarships totaling $4,250. What do they have to do? You guessed it: impersonate a duck.
- Klingon Language Institute: The Kor Memorial Scholarship: According to their website: “The purpose of the Kor Memorial Scholarship is to recognize and encourage scholarship in fields of language study. Familiarity with Klingon or other constructed languages is not required, however creative and innovative applicants are preferred.” You’ll probably have better luck if you’re a Star Trek fan, too.
- Tall Clubs International Scholarship for Tall People: While being tall can make it uncomfortable to sit in economy class on crowded airplanes, it will also help you qualify for a $1000 scholarship. Women who are 5’10″ or taller, and men who are at least 6’2″, and are both under 21 and attending their first year of college can apply.
- Collegiate Inventors Competition: Invent something cool? Win up to $25,000 for college. This isn’t about grades. It’s about turning good ideas into brilliant products.
Here’s a new must-read for anyone who cares why their tuition bill keeps getting fatter: Larry Abramson on why college is so expensive. Produced for NPR and read on All Things Considered, the article is an interesting analysis on why college prices are rising faster than inflation. Way faster, meaning incomes can’t keep up. Read the full article to get the skinny, but for you impatient types here’s the gist:
In a global economy, colleges compete for talent–and not just domestically. To get and keep the best professors, researchers, and engineers, colleges have to pay more since competition has suddenly gone global. And a high salary doesn’t cut it anymore. People need health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits.
There’s more financial aid than ever, which could be a bad thing? Well that just depends on how you look at it. An increase in financial aid means an increase in demand for education. Economics says increased demand equals increased cost. If less people could go to college, institutions would be forced to streamline and cut costs. On the other hand, who really wants less financial aid?
And, you know, it’s a pretty crappy economy. That means lots of unemployment, tighter credit lines, and fewer raises, which increases the impact of higher tuition prices. If prices are rising and incomes aren’t there to match it, a money gap develops, meaning school might not just be expensive anymore. It might have moved into a whole new category: unaffordable.