Earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree, or a professional degree or certificate, is a necessary prerequisite if your goal is to someday work in one of the many well paying and rewarding careers in the fields of business, healthcare, education, or even the nonprofit world. But with the cost of tuition and room and board at some colleges and universities now exceeding $60,000 per year, many students and their parents are searching for ways to earn the bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or other professional training they need for less money.
According to a February 2019 report by Forbes magazine, the total amount of student debt in the United States is more than $1.5 trillion, with more than 44 million students owing money on student loans.
The good news is that there actually are ways you can earn a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or other type of degree while keeping costs at a minimum. See below forsome ideas — from earning college credit while you’re still in high school to studying abroad — that might help save you money while you earn a degree and work toward makingyour career goals a reality.
Advanced Placement Classes
Many high schools offer Advanced Placement, or AP, classes to students in their junior and senior years. These classes, which are available in many subjects including various sciences, humanities and even the arts, allow students to earn both high school and college credit at the same time. Many students opt to take AP classes that will satisfy some of the general education credits they will need for college. Advanced Placement classes can save students money on college tuition and in some cases, if a student takes several AP classes, might even allow a student to graduate from college early, potentially saving them thousands of dollars.
Dual Enrollment Classes
Many high schools partner with local colleges or universities to offer dual enrollment classes to high school students in their junior and senior years. A dual enrollment class is a college course that allows a student to earn high school and college credit at the same time. Some high schools might charge a minimal fee for dual enrollment classes, but in many cases they are free. Either way, dual enrollment classes can save students thousands of dollars on college costs.
Think About a Community College
Most community colleges offer tuition rates that are far lower than those at most four-year colleges. Taking your first two years of classes at a community college and then transferring to a four-year college can save thousands of dollars on your overall education costs.
Consider Attending a State College
Attending a state college located in the state where you are a resident can save you a lot of money on tuition costs. State colleges offer lower tuition rates to students who live in state, as well as a number of grants and scholarships.
Take Advantage of Scholarships and Financial Aid
Most colleges and universities offer a scholarships and grants to students to help offset tuition costs. Scholarships and grants are also available through religious associations, nonprofits, businesses, sports teams and arts organizations.Taking the time to apply for scholarships and grants can be well worth your while. Since few people are aware than many scholarships exist, students who apply for them often have a good chance of getting an award.
Consider Studying Abroad
The cost of a higher education in many countries is much less than the cost of tuition in the United States. Because of this, many students choose to study abroad at colleges and universities in other countries in order to save money. Universities in Canada, for example, offer students much lower tuition costs than comparable institutions in the U.S. Other countries that are popular with American students who want to study abroad are Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong.
In addition to students who want to earn a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree, students who want to earn a professional degree in medicine or business can also earn their degrees abroad to save money. Schools such as the Saint James School of Medicine, which has locations on the Caribbean islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Anguilla enrolls both American and Canadian students and can save people who want to earn a medical degree thousands of dollars in tuition costs.
Studying abroad can make a rewarding career possible for many students for much less money than they would have to pay in the U.S.