EPISODE 34 ~ SAVE MORE: Tuition: Clever Ways to Save Money On a College Education

Save more money with The Easy Money Show

This is a follow up to MY last episode, number 33, where I covered unusual ways to MAKE money for college.  If you can make more AND save more on college, you might just have it covered.  Here goes:

  1. Fund an out-of-state 529. Many people don’t know that you can start a 529 plan in another state.  You don’t have to stick with the plans in the state where you live.  Some state plans have lower fees or are better run.  For example, according to NerdWallet, if you invested $5,000 in Oregon’s plan in 2010, five years later your account would have grown to $7,714.  But if you invested the same $5,000 in Michigan’s plan, five years later your account would have grown to $10,017.  It pays to look around.
  2. Apply to tuition-free college.  YES, there are a few schools that charge no tuition at all.  One is the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, located in New York.  Another is Berea College in Kentucky.  One more example: College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri. There are others and one might be a fit for you or your child.
  3. Negotiate a lower tuition. If you can’t go to school for free, how about for less?  When schools give out financial aid, often the first round offer is actually calculated by a computer.  If you are an excellent student, if you have better offers from other colleges or if the amount of aid is close but not quite enough, those are all good wedges to start a conversation and politely ask for more.
  4. Get the tax benefits: Federal student loans can be tax deductible, so don’t over look that possibility.  Ask a tax pro.
  5. Private student loans can sometimes have a lower interest rate than federal ones, if you have an excellent credit score, so shop and compare.
  6. Discounts for good grades: Some private student loan providers will do this, so be sure to check and let them know how you’re doing.
  7. Go to community college first.  This is a tried and true idea, but what you may not know is that a group called AmericanHonors.org will guarantee your admission to a long list of big name schools if you take required courses and maintain a good GPA.
  8. Graduate in 3 years.  My assistant on Easy Money is doing this and saving something like 40-thousand dollars.
  9. Take summer classes. This could help you graduate in 3 years.  It’s also a great plan because summer credits are often CHEAPER!  For example, Purdue University says you can spend summer on campus -including tuition, room and board— for about half the cost of a regular semester.
  10. And final way to save on college: Most schools now automatically enroll you in their campus health insurance plan.  If you have a good health plan that covers you while you’re at school, opt out of the school plan and save hundreds or even thousands.
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EPISODE 33 ~ MAKE MORE: Cash For College: 5 Ways To Make Extra Money to Pay Tuition

I want to talk about clever, creative ways to make more money for college.

1.  My first idea: Cooperative Education

Cooperative education, also called co-op education, involves working full time at a company while also enrolled in college. Students can earn as much as $25 per hour (That’s roughly $50k a year).  Colleges that offer Co-op education include Purdue, Cornell, University of CIncinatti and Northeastern U in Boston.

2.  Second idea: paid internships:

More companies are paying because Federal and state departments of labor, as well as prominent plaintiffs’ law firms, are getting aggressive in this area. They sue when an internship is really just unpaid work and more and more companies are deciding to pay rather than risk it.

3.  Number 3: Employer reimbursement programs

Today, there are tons of different employers that will pay for all or part of your tuition, including: Chipotle, Starbucks and Chrysler.

all recently announced expansions of, or additions to, their tuition reimbursement programs.

Number 4: Cool on-campus jobs.

You could…

•Play in the pep band.

Yes, that’s often a paying gig!

•Be a Newspaper writer or editor.

Not every college has a newspaper that pays its writers, but plenty do,

•Teach a Fitness Class.

Your college’s campus gym probably offers group fitness classes and somebody has to teach them.

•Work as an Event Caterer

Most colleges and universities have their own catering company.  I did this myself.

Do Tech Support:

Colleges have LOTS of computers and the pay for this one is usually high.

Bank Teller at the campus credit union.  Typical pay: $18/hour.

Hospital Research Assistant or Lab Assistant.  $10-20/hour.

5.  And final idea to snag money for college:

Many people don’t realize that you can apply for scholarships ALL 4 YEARS.  You can and you should. 

I hope these ideas to make money for college are helpful and on next week’s podcast I will share ways to SAVE money on your college tuition.

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