You have checked out the costs of the distance education that you are interested in pursuing. You have also carefully researched and applied for any grants and scholarships that you may be eligible for. However, you are still not sure if you can afford to study full time to get that degree you are interested in. You still have some options open to you that may allow you to begin your studies now rather than waiting for a year or more. Here are some suggestions, in addition to grants and scholarships, for reducing the cost of your education or reducing the amount of debt you will owe when you have completed your degree.
1. Even if you wish to earn a bachelorís degree, the 2 year community college programs are worth considering for your first two years of post-secondary education. Many of the schools have good transfer programs and the cost of 2 year community colleges per year is much lower than the cost of the 4 year colleges. Make sure you check that the courses you take will be accepted as transfers to the 4 year college where you plan to finish your bachelorís degree.
2. If you are still in high school, you may be able to take first year college courses while you are still there in high school. Then you can write the exams for those courses to get credit for them. If you are no longer in high school, it is possible to study informally for the first year courses and then take the exams for the courses to get the credits. Being out of school means that you will have to be very motivated and organized to do the studying on your own. If you are able to do this in or out of high school, you will save the cost of the first year of courses towards your bachelorís degree. Even though there is a fee to write each exam, it is well worth it.
3. Researching your choices before applying can save you money. Many colleges charge an application fee. That means if you have no idea which colleges are the top priority on your list and which ones you definitely have a chance of being accepted to, you will possibly apply to quite a few different colleges paying application fees at each one. Researching well and applying to only 2 or 3 will cut the number of application fees you will pay, thereby saving you money.
4. Textbooks are items on which you can save some money. Buy second hand texts saving money on them at that point and then you can sell them when you are finished saving even more money this way. You can also check on the cost of renting your textbooks as that may be a less expensive route to take.
5. Taking online classes by distance learning gives you more opportunity to work while you are studying since you can fit your study time around your work hours. Even if you are taking a full course load you may be able to work part time. Since you will not have to travel back and forth to classes, you may be able to use that time to work for a few hours instead.
There are many factors to consider when choosing and paying for the education that will allow you to meet your career goals. Therefore you will have to do a great deal of research to plan the education that will enable you to meet those goals at a price that you can manage. Cost is definitely not the only consideration so you should choose the school that will meet your needs first and then try to save money by using some of the techniques suggested. If you are motivated and willing to work hard, you will be able to get the distance education that is best for you. For those who are choosing bricks and mortar schools most of these suggestions will apply equally well to you.