If you’re studying in college or looking for colleges to apply, you’d probably know how expensive college education has become. By the time you pay your tuition fee, you’ve already invested thousands of dollars. The overall cost skyrockets quickly when you add up the cost of a dorm room or accommodation, books, and other daily expenses.
With so many necessary expenses, you need to be careful about spending on things and activities that you don’t require—or worse,losing the money that could come in handy for ELFI. If you want to save money while you’re on your way to graduate from your dream college, avoid making these six mistakes.
Not Applying for Financial Aid
Every student should apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) without any exception. This financial aid isn’t only about the Federal Student Aid and the Pell Grants.
Even if you think your parents can quickly pay for your college without any aid, you must not skip FAFSA. Many colleges won’t award you merit-based scholarships or grants if they don’t have your FAFSA information from the federal authorities. You’re not just missing out on the financial assistance, but also the other perks that come with it.
It’s also critical that you file the FAFSA in your first year of college because federal programs are often offered for a specific period, or on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Letting Go of the College Provided Scholarships
Just like federal aid, the college or government scholarships are a great way of lightening the burden of your college fee. But you can only get them if you apply for them. We agree that filling the long applications for scholarships can get boring, because they often ask questions that require detailed answers, but it’s worth all the effort and time.
We suggest not to take your scholarship application lightly, think carefully about what you’re writing in each section because there’s a large pool of potential candidates and a relatively low success rate.
Just last year, about$2.6 billion were left on the table in scholarshipsnever claimed. With the student loans skyrocketing to $1.53 trillion in the U.S., you don’t want to miss out on such aid.
Delaying Graduation or Switching Majors During College
Many students aren’t sure about their interests and career path they want to take in the future. They end up wasting thousands of dollars in switching majors during their education, which delays their graduation and adds up to the tuition fee and student loan. Now, we don’t disagree that you shouldn’t explore what you’re passionate about and the career you want to pursue. In fact, a college is an ideal place for professional soul-searching. But we also don’t want you to do too much of it at the cost of your tuition fee.
If you must switch your major, choose with a similar foundation and introductory courses, so you don’t have to begin from scratch and spend more time at college.
Committing to Too Many Things
Juggling between too many commitments is also a recipe for excessive tuition fees.
We agree that some students might need to do a part-time along with their college to support their family and education. Still, it won’t be worth it if you’re too exhausted to make sense of lectures or wakeup in the morning at all to take your classes.
When you don’t pay attention to your lectures, you won’t be able to score well in exams, and you might end up having to repeat a course. That’s just more tuition fees going out of your pocket.
Furthermore, rushing out to work right after class every day and not networking with your professors might cause you to lose on many career opportunities, internships,projects, and other advantages that come with dedicating all your concentration to a college education.
You won’t get any value out of your degree if you ignore these fundamentals, even if you manage to graduate on time. Therefore, we recommend reaching out to ELFI to pay for college bills instead of committing to part-time work.
However, we’ve seen people who managed to graduate with a high CGPA while working with the college. All you need to is find the right balance.
Buying New Texts and Studying Guides from College Bookstore
Stocking up on new study supplies and textbooks from your campus bookstore may be convenient for you, but not your pocket. Although it feels nice to pull out a brand new glazing book from the bag on the very first lecture, the shine fades away anyway. And you should be more concerned about learning, understanding, and practically the text and insights inside the book—not how it looks. We understand that walking to the campus store, buying books, and other merchandise is an exciting experience altogether, but it’sonly feasible for the first semester or two.
For all your years in college, it’s better to shop for used educational material or renting it from someone you know. If you’re enrolled in a course with your roommate, it’s best to share the books. In the end, your goal should be to study, and it shouldn’t come at the expense of your financial stability.
2020 is everything but ordinary, so follow this advice with some precautions if you plan to register for the fall semester this year amid the pandemic.
If your college is in the same state as your home, living at home should be the most cost-effective option. But, if your college is far from home or in another state, consider sharing a dorm room with a student or friend. Living alone—whether you’re planning to buy or rent the place—can cost you a lot in the long run. Also, it’s good to have company and a food companion.
If you’re struggling to pay your college tuition, get in touch with Education Loan Finance (ELFI) for a private student loan. With ELFI student loan financing, you won’t have to worry about the application fee, prepayment fee, or origination fee. You can also calculate your private student loan depending on the time remaining until graduation and find a plan that fits your needs at the best rates.