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5 ways to save for college

According to College Data, the average public college tuition runs $22,261 versus a private college tuition of $43,289 for the 2013 school year. This staggering number grows every year, but there are a few ways to help curb this increasing cost. There are a few schools that will even let you prepay four years of college while your child is an infant, and it secures the price no matter how high it is by the time they attend the school. The downside, of course, is that the child may not want to go to that school by the time they are of age. Here are some more ways to save on college costs. 
Don't leave home While this can mean staying with your folks instead of on-campus, which will save you money, it also means don't go out of state for your college degree. In state tuition is always cheaper than out of state school tuition. 
Maximize your meals While most schools incorporate a meal plan for students that have room and board fees, many students either never take advantage of it or leave the year with meals "unspoken for". Swing by to get your meals. Leaving the school year with meals not claimed is money down the drain. 
Books can be cheaper There are many ways to get cheaper textbooks. First, never buy new in the school bookstore. Go online and buy used ones, search eBay, or utilize for them. If you want to do even better than used over new prices, see if the textbooks can be rented or even checked out at the library for free. Many times, they are available for those savvy enough to look. 
Full time not part time Instead of taking the fewest credit hours of classes you can, consider taking the most allowed. While you are going to have to really apply yourself, chances are you can do it with at least a semester-less of time. Getting done with school with even one semester less of school is thousands of dollars saved. 
Work part-time if you can Some schools have work-study programs that allow you to work on campus, receive a small paycheck and have a credit on your college tuition. You get a little in your pocket, and your tuition bill is reduced. If your school has a work-study program, inquire as to the circumstances of it and how it can benefit you to enroll. 
College is expensive, but there are ways to help lower the cost. Make sure you take notes of everything you can do to lower the price of tuition, books, and necessities. There are always going to be little ways to save a dime here and there, not to mention scholarships and grants that can be available.

Tina Samuels writes on small business and money topics.


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