You’ve just graduated high school and are ready to delve into adulthood by going to a university. Likewise, you might be an already-established adult who knows it’s time to go back to school for a more well-rounded education. Unfortunately, going to college involves more than just signing some papers and attending classes. College can be downright expensive and there are a multitude of financial mistakes that students make to worsen their money problems while studying.
Paying Too Much for Education
Schools aren’t created equally and, in some cases, you’ll be left shelling out more cash for a fancier name. Many community colleges and smaller universities offer the same level of education that you need without the hefty price tag attached. One mistake to avoid is overpaying for school just because you have your sights set on a specific name. Compare options and choose the one that is best suited to your financial needs.
Taking Out High-Interest Student Loans
Student loans were created to make paying for school easier and more affordable. Unfortunately, many lenders overcharge for their loans, creating them with high-interest rates and ridiculous repayment terms. If you’ve already taken out a loan, consider refinancing as a way to save some money. If you haven’t borrowed money yet, look for an option with a lower interest rate and a more reasonable repayment schedule.
Not Sticking to a Budget
It can be tempting to overspend when you’re surrounded by friends and colleagues. However, if you’re going to school, you’re likely not working the hours that you would be if you weren’t studying. Because of this, you’ll need to stick to a budget that you can afford. This means cutting out all overspending and living within your means. Don’t hesitate to ask family for help when it comes to paying for essentials. It’s helpful to outline your monthly expenditures to know what you need to cut out in order to avoid issues with debt.
Not Getting Help with Financial Aid
Being a new college student can be a costly venture regardless of your age. Because of this, it is important that you get financial assistance when and wherever possible. This might mean working a smaller part-time job or talking to the finance department of the university so that they can provide you with the help that you need. There is no shame in admitting that you need help with money, and most counselors are ready to provide you with this aid once they know it’s necessary.
Buying Brand New Textbooks
Tuition fees for classes are expensive, but the textbooks that go along with these courses can be just as burdening. It might be tempting to order the books online to save yourself time, but there are a variety of used university textbook programs that you can use when purchasing the necessary curriculum. Rather than buy everything brand new, consider getting the books used. Once you’re finished using them for the classes, resell them to get some money back that can be put towards loan payments and other debts.