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Categorized | Paying For College

5 Ways To Make College Cheaper

dollar-cuttingCollege is an investment in your future — a very expensive investment. Between tuition, room and board, utilities, textbooks, groceries and transportation, college students quickly learn how to stretch a dollar, but there are ways to make college cheaper without eating Ramen Noodles every night.

Here is a list of ways to make college cheaper, your wallet happier and your future brighter:

Apply for Scholarships and Grants.

This might sound like an obvious answer, but did you know that college and universities typically offer a number of different scholarships and grants to help students afford their education? You can receive a scholarship based on your academic performance, your athletic skills, your race, your hobbies and your household income. You can apply for federal, state and private scholarships, and you can enter many scholarship contest giveaways online with different creative ideas, such as wearing an outfit made from duct tape to your prom.

Some college financial advisers encourage students to apply for as many scholarships and grants as possible, even if you don’t meet the requirements. You might be surprised how many students apply for scholarships they don’t qualify for, but they receive the money anyway, because no one else applied for the same scholarship.

Enlist in the Military.

Many students who want to graduate from college, but can’t afford tuition and other expenses, turn to the U.S. military for help. The military’s College Loan Repayment Program will repay a percentage of your student loans after each completed year of active duty. You should also consider the GI Bill, which helps members of the military to go back to college.

Lower Your Textbook Costs.

Textbooks can easily cost $700 a semester. To minimize the cash you spend on college textbooks, consider renting your books, sharing with a friend or buying PDF versions of the book online. These are all great ways of gaining the knowledge from essential course textbooks without spending a fortune.

Become a Resident Assistant.

An RA is hired by colleges to serve as a mentor, guide, friend and voice of authority for students living in on-campus dorms. Many students are able to cover their room and board charges by working as an RA. Not only does this job pay, but it provides a unique experience to your college life and it gives you the chance to make a difference in the lives of other students.

Cash Out Your Annuity.

College students may have an annuity from a structured settlement stemming from a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit. Depending on your situation and your age, selling an annuity may be a good way to help pay for college. However, there are fees. Make sure to contact a financial adviser before cashing out your annuity.

In the 21st century, more and more pressure is put on college students to pay their way through college. Don’t get discouraged. There are a number of ways to make college cheaper, allowing you to achieve your goals for the future.

About the Author

Today’s guest article comes from Kaitlyn Fusco. She is a content writer for She combines her interests in writing and overcoming debt to inform the public about issues related to credit, debt, annuity and personal finance.

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