5 Ways to Reduce Tuition Expenses
Education is expensive. Tuition costs at U.S. universities are some of the highest in the world. It takes years, and in some cases decades, for students to pay off their large student loans. Loan payments are one of the single biggest expenses from their working salary.
Also, scholarships are minuscule and not accessible to 99% of international students, making the problem of high tuition more daunting. But that shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your dream of studying abroad.
Below are some of the things you can do to reduce your overall tuition burden, so that you can get that great education without leaving a big dent in your bank account:
5 Best Ways to Reduce Tuition Expenses
1. Study for subjects before you arrive (to waive off requirements)
While you are still in school (or working), you can take a couple of courses and assessments. It not only helps you to spend your time wisely, but also allows you to waive off the courses on extra credits at your next college. For international students, there is also the option of the College Board’s College Level examination (CLEP). It helps you to reduce the overall cost of the course if you achieve a minimum credit for the subject.
Additionally, while you are browsing your university’s catalogue, make sure that you are up to date on all of the courses and their requirements. A lot of universities let you take their own internal tests, allowing you to waive the course if you achieve a minimum score. The waiver not only helps you cut down on cost (because you need to take less courses), but it is also provides a confidence boost for new students joining the university.
2. Go to smaller schools
It is worthwhile to mention that going to smaller schools could be a great option to cut down your tuition cost.
While a lot of universities have higher fees for out-of-state students, some smaller universities have the same fees for both in-state and out-of-state students. In some cases, these smaller universities are better for international students because they can get more individual attention. Some smaller schools are highly rated in specific departments and are sometimes better than bigger schools.
3. Live off-campus
While you can stay on campus for the first year of their course to get used to the university culture and customs, you can always search for an off campus living option when you feel comfortable. Living off campus might seem costly considering costs of furniture, rent, utilities & transportation, but with proper budgeting and research, finding good apartments near campus can be cheaper than living on-campus. Doing this may also force you to get off of the college’s meal plan and explore better food options, occasionally buying groceries and cooking . Essentially, start living independently as an adult. Sharing an apartment with people from different nationalities can help with learning new cultures, diversifying personality, and at the same time enjoy being closer to the city life as well.
4. Find a research assistantship
If you are interested in doing research projects and gaining some experience, this may be the best option for you. We urge you to research professors who match your interest areas even before joining the college. Then, reach out to them, citing your past work or your keen interest in the topic they are working on.
Reaching out to professors early and building a connection increases your chances of landing a research assistantship after you arrive on campus. While most research assistantships are paid (full- or partial-tuition fee waiver), some may be unpaid as well. However, do not quit an internship just because of pay — a research project is a huge boost to your resume, and if professors like your work, they can recommend you for jobs (which is a huge win).
5. Get an on-campus job
We believe that this is one of the most critical ways to pay for your costs at school. We advise you to keep looking for on-campus jobs on the bulletin boards and college intranet. These jobs could vary from being a library assistant to a magazine editor to a volunteer at an event happening within the university. So, make sure that you figure out what your interests are and look around for anything that matches!
Finding an on-campus job will not only help you to earn some extra money, but it also a great way to network and make some great friends within the university. Also, it shows that you are extremely good at balancing academics with a job and gives you quality material to talk about in your cover letters for job applications.
How did you reduce your tuition burden? If you have any tips, share them with us in the comments or send them to us at email@example.com.