What is the Most Affordable Way to Complete a Bachelor’s Degree?

Many Americans are considered about making college degrees more affordable. Today’s students don’t want to finish school saddled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student debt. Here are four ways to reduce the cost of attending college.

Community College

What is the difference between a bachelor’s degree and an associate’s degree? A four-year bachelor’s degree allows you to dive more deeply into your major area of study. It also provides an opportunity for you to broaden your horizons by taking general education classes. To complete your degree, you must take courses in English, history, science and mathematics, plus other subjects depending on your school. If you want to complete your four-degree without burying yourself under a mountain of debt, consider taking your general education courses at a community college. Many four-year colleges have partnerships with local community colleges to make it easy for you to transfer your credits and apply them to your four-year degree.

Used or Foreign Textbooks

According to CBS News, the average cost of materials for a college course is $153. Most of those costs come from expensive textbooks. Often, college bookstores stock the newest edition of textbooks, each of which can cost over $100. For a full-time class schedule with four or five courses, those costs add up fast. Luckily, you can save money on textbooks by smart shopping. You rarely need the latest textbook, especially for introductory classes. Purchase textbook editions from several years ago, even if that means shopping online or off-campus. You can also look for international editions of your textbooks, which often sell for $20 to $30 online and use slightly different pictures than the American versions.

Online Classes

As technology evolves, it’s becoming easier and easier to take your courses online. You can interact with fellow students, complete assignments and even watch pre-recorded lectures. How do online courses save you money? First, you don’t have to worry about purchasing a parking pass or, even worse, getting a fine for accidentally parking in the wrong lot. Second, you won’t feel any peer pressure to visit Starbucks or go out to eat at the sub-standard campus dining options. Finally, online courses give you control over your schedule, making it easier for you to work while attending college.

Working While Attending College

The average American pays over $6,000 in student loan debt throughout a lifetime, according to the Simple Dollar. Americans who attend private colleges, need private loans or take more than four years to complete a bachelor’s degree pay even more in interest. One of the best ways to minimize student debt’s negative effects on your life is to limit the dollar amount you borrow in student loans. By working during college, you can pay for your living expenses, purchase textbooks and even pay some of your tuition without taking out loans. Plus, you’ll find it easier to get a job after college if you can put work experience on your resume.

Related Resource: 20 Highest Paying Bachelor Degrees

Financial worries shouldn’t keep you from your dream of attending college. With the right preparation, you can find an affordable way to complete your bachelor’s degree.