5 Genius Ways To Save Money On College

ways to save money on college

Wondering how to save money on college?

With a $1.7 TRILLION student loan crisis in America, you’re certainly not the only one looking for ways to save.

When did it become ok to get in over our heads, completely buried in debt, just to get educated beyond high school?

And why is it that we women have most of that debt?

  • Do women borrow more up front?
  • Are we choosing careers that pay less?
  • Is it that we do not understand the importance of getting rid of that debt to experience financial freedom and build wealth for our family?

Enough of this madness.

It’s time to take control and write your own college debt story.

This post may contain affiliate links. 

I went $48,000 into debt for my college degrees, but I do not plan to allow my kids to do the same.

So what are some of the best ways to save money on college?

Below are some of the most impactful and surprising ways to save money on college.

1. Get Free or Cheap College Textbooks

Open Textbook Network – Participating colleges and programs offer ebook versions FREE

Chegg.com – You can rent or buy textbooks for up to 90% off. (You can sell them back here after you’re done too.)

Gutenberg.org – Many classic literature books where the copyright has expired are available here to read online or download for free.

Search for the textbook “international edition” – it’s usually the same, maybe a different cover and a few less pages, but much cheaper.

You also could consider borrowing one from a friend who’s taken the same class already.

2. Calculate the ROI of School and Degree Choices

Is there a less expensive way to get your degree?

Will your degree lead to a job that pays high enough to justify college debt/costs?

Rather than just “follow your heart” and pick any degree that sounds interesting, talk with someone wiser than you with real adult responsibilities to help calculate the financial return on any college degree.

3. Learn How Compound Interest Affects Your Loans

I learned the hard way…borrowing $50,000 at 6.8% interest does NOT equal to only having to pay back $50,000. […palm to face…]

Calculating what the TOTAL cost of your degree will be WITH interest over the life of the loan (10, 20, or more years) will give you the REAL cost of your degree.

Use a repayment calculator like the one on my Financial Fitness Tools Page to find the real cost of loans before making decisions like school choice, dragging your degree out another year or two, continuing on to graduate school because you’re not really sure what you want to do yet…etc.

4. Start Budgeting Now

Learning how to accurately estimate your income and keep your spending well below your income is a CRUCIAL skill for winning with money. If you master this habit, no matter how much or little you earn, you’ll always be able to achieve your most important financial goals.

You can get the budgeting template I use in the Free Resource Library.

5. Don’t Pay For Amazon Prime – Get It FREE

There are quite a few discounts college students qualify for, and one of my favorites is Amazon Prime FREE for 6 months. While college students need to be wise with money and learn how to budget before they go to town ordering a bunch of stuff with free 2-day shipping from Amazon, it can come in handy and the Amazon Prime Video has plenty of TV series and movie options that can make a cable bill unnecessary.

All you need is a college email address and you can access all the Amazon Prime perks FREE for 6 months, then cancel or continue the membership at 50% off — just for being a student.

6. Look for Unique Scholarship and Grant Opportunities [BONUS!]

There are many unique scholarship opportunities out there, but it does take time and effort to find and apply for them. For example, LendKey is offering ten $2,000 Scholarships in 2024.

I found and received a scholarship in the old school newspaper when I went to grad school. So the opportunities are out there if you persevere and look for them!

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Overpaying for a college degree is not smart. These 5 ridiculously awesome ways to save money on college will help you keep more money in your wallet.

You can:

  • get free or cheap college textbooks
  • get Amazon Prime free for 6 months
  • know how to wisely choose degrees and schools
  • search in unique places for scholarships and grants
  • understand what it means to borrow money with interest before you take out loads of “good debt”
  • and start to budget!

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Cheers to your finances, your future, and your freedom by saving money on college!

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Val Breit

Val Briet helps women create a life they love with money hacks, productivity tips, unique gift ideas, and honest reviews to find products that are worth it!

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