Higher education can be an expensive undertaking in many ways. From paying school fees to finding accommodation in city centres, it can cost a significant amount of money to be a student in today’s world.
Fortunately, there are ways that higher education can be made cheaper for a vast array of students. Exploring these options is key to understanding how the higher education system can evolve and improve in keyways.
Here are some options to help higher education become more affordable and accessible.
Taking Advantage of Grants and Specialised Loans
As a student, it’s essential to understand the difference between grants and loans. While both can be beneficial, they come with their own pros and cons.
Grants are typically awarded to students based on their financial needs. When awarded a grant, students are not required to pay back the sums they receive. The only case in which this is not true is if a student doesn’t complete their educational program and a specific grant stipulates that those who receive it must complete their education.
Loans, on the other hand, require that students pay back the sums they receive at a future date. However, not all loans are created equal.
Unsubsidised loans will start accruing interest as soon as they are taken out. As a result, students will have to pay financial institutions back a significantly higher sum than that which they receive.
Subsidised loans, however, do not immediately start accruing interest. In these cases, organisations, typically government organisations, will create loans for students that don’t start accruing interest until six months after a student graduates. As a result, students can save a considerable amount of money.
Given these types of financial aid options, it’s important for students to understand that grants and subsidised loans can help them save in big ways. This being the case, every higher education student can make their educational experience more affordable by being proactive about exploring grants and subsidised loan options.
Taking Advantage of Online Options
In today’s world, online education options have become extremely common. This being the case, whether students are looking for online nursing programs or online business programs, there is almost always amazing opportunities available to them.
The benefits of online education are significant and can make higher education more accessible to more people in a variety of ways. These include not requiring students to move to a new location, not requiring students to commute, and offering more flexible scheduling options that are conducive for those with jobs.
For these reasons, online higher education programs are becoming more popular with each passing year. As such, students looking for ways to potentially make their university experience more affordable and accessible should explore their online options.
Being Frugal During University
Though it’s not always easy, a commitment to being frugal during one’s tenure in higher education can make university far more accessible. This is because if one is able to curb spending habits and save money effectively, one can significantly lower the cost of student life.
Unfortunately, while many are eager to start saving money, it’s not always clear how to do so as a student. Fortunately, there are easy ways to decrease spending and be more responsible with money.
Some key tips for being frugal that students can take advantage of include:
- Creating a strict budget for spending
- Buying used textbooks
- Cooking meals at home
- Utilising student discounts
- Search for the cheapest housing and commuting options
- Using school resources such as gyms and free snacks
By engaging in many money-saving habits, students are able to significantly cut the cost of their higher education career. As such, being frugal is a technique that makes colleges and universities more accessible to a wider array of people.
Finding Part-Time and Summer Jobs
While it’s extremely difficult to work full-time while earning a degree, many students find that engaging in part-time work opportunities is more manageable. This can help cover some of the expenses associated with college while also preparing students to enter the workforce.
When looking for part-time work options, students must be conscious of their class schedule and the amount of time it takes them to complete assignments outside of class. With this information, students can start looking for roles that fit their schedules.
In addition to meeting scheduling criteria, it can also be important to find jobs that aren’t overly stressful. This is because these types of roles can have a negative impact on both mental health and academic abilities.
A great place for all students to start their job searches is on their university or college campus. From bookstores to office positions to cafeterias, there are likely to be job options available there. These job roles often cater to students as well and offer flexible scheduling options.
When it comes to summer, this is a great time for students to clock more hours and save money for upcoming semesters. This can reduce the need to work during normal semesters and can bolster students’ savings accounts.
The money that students make from their part-time and summer jobs can ultimately help cover a range of education-related expenses. As such, this makes the process of furthering one’s education both more affordable and more accessible to those whose families are unable to cover their educational expenses.
There are Ways to Make Higher Education More Attainable
Though the cost of higher education can be a difficult barrier for students to overcome, there are ways to mitigate the severity of this challenge. From exploring online schooling options to finding part-time employment, students committed to obtaining a degree have paths they can take to achieve their goals.
As time goes on, many are hopeful that governments and higher education institutions will put more effort into democratising education and making it more accessible for everyone.