Money Saving 101: How to Prepare For College and Save Money For It

College is expensive, so make sure you know all of the tips and tricks for how to save money for it to get a headstart on all of those payments!

Main image courtesy of NBC News. 

There is one thing that you should know before you decide whether to further your education or not, and that is that college is expensive. Sure, you could take federal or private loans out to pay it off, but then you have to worry about interest building up whenever you’re in college, which can make your monthly payments whenever you graduate more expensive. While going to college is something many people decide is right for them, you also have to think about how much it will cost you too.

We firmly believe that college is a great choice for everybody. Being able to continue your education and focus on a career path of your choice is one of the most rewarding experiences you will have in your life, but it does come at a cost. Even before you start college, it is a great idea to start saving up some money in order to make those payments once you’re graduated just a little bit better.

Are you wondering how you can save money for college? Here are some of the best tips and tricks that we could find to help you get started on the right path for college!

How Expensive is College?

Get an idea of the numbers that you may be seeing once you enroll in college!

College Students Sitting Outside
College is expensive, but thinking about how you’re going to save your money before starting is essential! Image courtesy of US News.  

Are you someone who has been wanting to go to college and further your education since you were in middle school or high school? Going to college brings about many opportunities to make you a more well-rounded person, not to mention getting to experience something new in your life, but do you know how expensive college can be?

For example, if you plan on going to a four-year university, the average amount of money you will spend on all four years of college is anywhere between $25,000 to $50,000. Now, this also depends on if you’re going to school in the state that you live in, or if you’re planning on going somewhere out-of-state. Going to a college out-of-state tends to be higher than going somewhere within the state you currently live in, and private schools can also be much higher as well.

While your tuition at a four-year college would be on average around $10,000 a semester, you also need to consider room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and any other expenses that you may have to pay as well. 

When it comes down to it, college is expensive, and saving any money that you possibly can to help you out in the long run is essential, so why not check out our top ways to save money before you start college!

Top Ways to Save Money For College

With so many opportunities to save money before college, here are some of the best ways to do so!

Saving Money For College
Saving money before college is something that many students should consider doing to save them money in the long run! Image courtesy of Insider. 

Are you someone who is struggling to save money before college, or are just now sure how to do so? There are plenty of ways to save money for college, and some are actually fairly easy too. Why not check out our list of the best ways to save money for college to get your foot in the door to paying those loans off!

Work a Part-Time Job

While working a part-time job is never fun, it is a great way to save up money for college. By working after school, working weekends, or even just picking up extra shifts whenever you can is great for helping to save money for college.

Taking at least 10% of your paycheck and putting it into your savings account can help you tremendously when it comes to paying off student loans. Having a couple thousand in your savings account can go a long way when it comes to saving for college. 

Go to Community College

Do you know that you want to go to college, but you’re just not sure what you want to study or what kind of career you want whenever you graduate? Why waste one year at a four-year college trying to decide what to major in whenever you can go to your local community college instead!

Going to community college is not only an opportunity to figure out where your interests lie, but also to save some money before transferring to a four-year college. By going to a community college, you can save as much as $30,000!

Apply for Scholarships

There are many ways to save money before going to college and another simple and easy way to do so is by applying to scholarships! Scholarships are a great way to receive free money to continue your education and save money for college.

For scholarships, what you can apply to is endless. There are academic based scholarships, where you may need to write an essay, athletic scholarships, scholarships for minorities, scholarships for women, community service scholarships, and so much more to choose from.

Classroom
Deciding to go to a community college can be beneficial for both you and what you want to study and it can help your pockets too! Image courtesy of Los Angeles Times. 

 Fill Out the FAFSA Every Year

A great way to save a ton of money in college is by filling out the FAFSA every single year. Known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the FAFSA is a form for college students, or future college students to fill out and see how much money you can receive from the federal government.

By filling out the college you’re going to, how much income you make a year, how much your parents make a year, and by filling out the form, you can see if you are eligible for federal aid. If you are, you can choose which loans through the government you want to take such as subsidized loans (interest is paid by the Education Department while in school) or unsubsidized loans (interest begins accruing as soon as loan is dispersed) and then pay them back whenever you graduate.

There are many ways to save up for college, but by working a part-time job, considering community college to start, applying for scholarships, and filling out the FAFSA, you are on your way to saving money before you even step foot on campus!

Sara Nuss
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