3 Best Ways to Reduce the Cost of College

College tuition continues to rise faster than wages and inflation, which is a trend that can’t be sustainable long-term. Total student loan debt is more than 1.48 trillion, and the average graduate leaves school with nearly $40,000 in student loans.

$50,000 in Student Loans

In 2012 my wife graduated with her teaching certificate and had accumulated nearly $50,000 in student loans. She originally graduated with her bachelor’s degree in communications with about $25,000 in student loan debt.

Graduating College Debt Free

In graduate school, I found a school with a great internship program. The 20 hours per week internship paid for my tuition and $800 per month. Combined with my weekend server/bartender job, I fully supported myself through grad school.

Three Ways to Reduce the Cost of College

Below are three suggestions to reduce the cost of college. These may seem like common sense suggestions, but it amazes me how few people decide to do them. I know college costs continue to increase, but you can still attend college at a reasonable price if you have some flexibility and drive.

Consider Going to Community College 

Here’s a little secret: Nobody cares if you went to a community college after graduating from a four-year university. The four-year school you graduated from is all that needs to go on your resume.


Consider an In-State or Lower Cost University 

I graduated from one of the lowest-ranked schools in my state. Yet, I’ve never found this a barrier to my career growth. On the contrary, graduating college debt-free provided more flexibility than having tens of thousands of dollars in student loans.


Look for Scholarships

You may not be able to get the scholarship or grant you want at your top school. However, I’m willing to bet you can find a decent scholarship or grant somewhere. There are billions of dollars in federal grants left on the table every year.


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