Welcome to Q & A Wednesday on Millionaire Habits, where I answer one of your questions every week for the benefit of over 26,000 people.
💡 Question: “Steve, college is f%cking expensive and I don’t want to take out student loans. Anything I can do?”
You’re right, college is f%cking expensive. I mean, really f%cking expensive.
According to data, the cost of attending a public 4-year college increased by 31.4% from 2010 to 2020. And since 1963, college tuition went up 748%!
College is just dang pricey, but there are ways to make college more affordable so you aren’t saddled with student loans.
Let’s dive in.
How to make college cheaper
Ultimately, all we’re looking for is that 4-year degree, right?
One of my favorite tricks to make college cheaper is actually quite simple: go to a 2-year community college first (typically costs half of a university), then transfer to a 4-year university, taking your credits with you.
This way, you’re still getting that college diploma to get your foot in the door at an employer. But you’re paying less than if you went straight to the university.
In other words: 2 years at a community college + 2 years at a university = a 4-year college degree for cheaper.
I wrote about this in detail here.
But wait! Here’s the key: Make sure your community college credits transfer straight into a 4-year university. To do this, work with a guidance counselor at your local community college to discuss your options.
It would suck to leave your community college with credits that won’t transfer.
Here are a few other ways to keep costs down:
Go in-state: Students who attend an in-state university pay substantially lower tuition fees compared to out-of-state students. Chances are there’s an in-state school that’s right for you. Stay close to home and save $$$.
Work part-time: Working part-time (or even full-time) during college can help you pay tuition without taking out student loans. It sucks having to work as you’re going to school, but many students do it.
Apply for financial aid: Many universities provide financial aid packages to students who can’t afford tuition. Here’s how it works in more detail.
Get reimbursed by your employer: If you work full-time, your employer might reimburse some of your college tuition costs to get a degree. If you are unsure, ask your boss or human resources department.
Do you even need college? I still believe that college is a good option for many people, but it’s never been easier to make a living without a college degree. Depending on your career field, a college degree might not be necessary.
There’s no question that college is absurdly expensive, but there are ways to reduce your costs while getting your 4-year degree.