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How to Find a College with Reasonable Tuition

August 10th, 2011 at 05:13 pm

A college education is almost a ‘must have’ these days. The time of walking in off the street with only a high school diploma and being hired at a decent pay rate, with benefits, is pretty much a thing of the past. Instead you need to have a degree in something useful to be assured of being hired at anything more than a subsistence wage. Unfortunately college is expensive, so most people need to find a way of going to school on the cheap without sacrificing the quality of their education. Following are a few tips that may help you find a college with reasonable tuition.

Scholarships

The first, best way of paying for a college education, with the exception of being financially independent, is to get a full-ride scholarship. Sadly those are few and far between. Only very gifted athletes and brainiacs get those. Partial scholarships are different. Many charitable organizations contribute scholarship money to chosen individuals every year. Some scholarships go unclaimed because no one applies. If you spend some time researching scholarships you may run across something you’re qualified to receive.

College Payment Options

Barring a scholarship of some sort, or a college fund supplied by forward-thinking family members, you may be forced to foot the entire bill for your education yourself. There are many ways of doing this. The history books are filled with cases of people working their way through school. While this is an option that shouldn’t be overlooked studying for a college degree can be extremely draining, both physically and emotionally, and it is also time consuming. Finding time to work and keep your grades up at the same time may be difficult. Taking out a student loan or joining a Federal Work Study Program are viable options. Another way of doing it is to look for a college with somewhat more affordable tuition.

Choose a Smaller School

Instead of opting for a large prestigious school you may want to consider going to a community college for the first two years. If you go this route be sure you select courses that earn credits that can be transferred to a state school. The tuition rates at community colleges are significantly lower than larger schools. You will also have save money because associated costs, such as housing, may be lower--you may even be able to live at home or in a small apartment close to the school. Travel expenses should also be minimal if you choose a school close to home.

Go to a State School

Whether or not you choose to go to a community college for the first couple of years you can still save money by attending a state school in the state in which you reside. Residents of any given state usually receive lower tuition rates than out-of-state students. As with a community college you can also save money by living at home if you choose a state school near your home.

Decide on a Major Later

By delaying your choice of major you can save money by attending a Liberal Arts college in order to satisfy your core course requirements. Depending on what major you select you can transfer to a school later on that specializes in your field of choice--just make sure the courses you choose offer credits that can be transferred.

Location Is Important

Geographical location may also have an effect on tuition rates. Generally speaking, schools in the South and Southwest have somewhat lower tuition. You may find the cost of living to be a little lower, as well. Schools in urban areas also carry higher tuition rates. Suburban schools are somewhat cheaper, but for the lowest tuition rates, generally speaking, seek out small colleges in more out-of-the-way areas. The cost of living will also be less in a rural area than in an urban environment.

Online Schools

In order to find the schools that have the best tuition rates it would be a good idea to do some research. The Internet is a good place to begin your search. While you’re online you may want to look into the possibility of getting your college degree online. Your research should include the http://www.bestonlinecolleges.com because many online colleges have significantly less expensive tuition rates. By perusing the websites of different schools you can compare the price of their courses, which will help you decide on which school is best for you.

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