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Tuition Saving Tips

With effort, you can save on tuition. Research, apply and repeat!

Elizabeth Hoyt

August 22, 2019

Tuition Saving Tips
Oh, tuition. Some consider it a nasty word and rightfully so. It’s expensive and can hang over a student’s head throughout college and for years to come. But there are ways to save on tuition – you just need to become savvy about it. It takes time and effort, but when you’re talking about that much money, it’s more than likely worth what you put into it.

Tuition Saving Tips

Here are some simple ways to save money on college tuition:

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1. Apply for Scholarships and Grants

Since you’re on Fastweb, that’s half the battle! Now you just need to apply for as many scholarships as possible. Remember, the trick with scholarships is, the more you apply, the more likely you are to win one!

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There are millions of scholarships available; and no matter what type of student you are, there are scholarships out there for you! You just need to take advantage of the opportunities provided and keep applying. So many scholarships remain untouched every year because of a lack of applicants, which means the money is out there. You just need to put in a little effort to obtain it. Similar to scholarships, grants are often considered “free money” because it’s essentially financial aid that doesn't require repayment. The main difference between a grant and a scholarship is that a grant is more likely to be need-based, while a scholarship is more likely to be merit-based or have more specific eligibility qualifications. Both grants and scholarships can come from federal or state government, the college you’re attending, or private and non-profit organizations. Find out the types of grants you’re eligible for and apply for all grants you meet the requirements for. After doing some research, you may be surprised at how many you meet the eligibility requirements to apply. There is one stipulation with grants and scholarships, alike. Some require partial or full repayment if, for example, you drop out or don't finish the semester the grant or scholarship was awarded. In addition to Fastweb, your teachers, guidance counselors and financial aid office will be able to assist you in any questions you may have regarding where to apply, how to find grants and scholarships and evaluate your eligibility.

2. Summer Enrollment

If you enroll in summer courses each year, the length of time you’re in college will decrease. Also, you’re more likely to graduate within four years, which many college students are not able to do. This certainly saves money in the long run! Depending on the college, summer courses are often cheaper than those in the fall and spring semesters.

3. Take More Credits Per Semester

This may not sound like it will save you money, but if you take the maximum amount of credits each semester, you’ll be sure to graduate on time, if not earlier. Make sure you balance your course load in terms of difficulty level so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. But, remember, the closer you are to graduation, the closer you are to no longer having to pay tuition bills. Graduation means no more tuition, which is a great thing!

4. Financial Aid

Ever heard of the FAFSA? If you haven’t, the acronym stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. While the government giving you money sounds like a great idea, keep in mind that it’s usually in the form of student loans that need to be repaid. There are two types of Federal Direct Student Loans, one which is subsidized by the government and one which is not. The one which is won’t charge you interest at least half of the time you're attending school, which likely means you’ll be in a better financial situation to repay the loans. The second type that's not subsidized charges a student interest from the time the loan is taken. Keep in mind that this can become confusing since both types of loans don't require you to make a payment until you've either reached the halfway point or have graduated because these loans are usually deferred while the student is still in school. However, interest does still accumulate! Make sure you know which type of loan you're signing up for before you sign on the dotted line. Fastweb has many resources on how to evaluate the right types of financial aid for you and answers to common financial aid questions so that you are able to make smarter student loan decisions.

5. Work-Study Programs

Many students don’t realize that they qualify for work-study. Actually, most do. Begin the process of finding out if you qualify by filling out the FAFSA form and meet with a college financial advisor to go over your options. Most work studies consist of a few hours a week, working for the college at a reception desk or tutoring underclassman. The money you would typically earn from whatever hours you put in the job is usually applied as a credit to your tuition bill. It’s really not a bad gig, especially since you can earn tuition money from it. So, why not just get a part-time job instead? Work study programs ensure that the money you earn goes directly to paying tuition, so you don’t have to deal with decisions of how to spend the money. Basically, it eliminates the temptation to spend your earnings on frivolous items.

6. Part-Time Jobs

A part-time job can be a great way to help extend your student budget. It's also a great way to gain real world job experience. Did you know you can find part-time jobs on Fastweb? Find companies hiring near you right now. It does take time and effort but you can save on tuition. Just research, apply and repeat as necessary!

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