Sticker Shock: Creative Ways to Lower the Cost of College

 

Even with all of your savvy college shopping and research about financial aid, college costs may still be prohibitive. At these prices, you expect you’ll need to make substantial financial sacrifices to send your child to college. Or maybe your child won’t be able to attend the college of his or her choice at all. Before you throw in the towel, though, you and your child should consider steps that can actually lower college costs. Although some of these ideas deviate from the typical four-year college experience, they just might be your child’s ticket to college — and your ticket to financial sanity.

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Paying for Graduate School  – Calculate the costs

Before you jump into investigating graduate school funding sources, the first thing to do is calculate how much your education will cost. Along with direct billed tuition and fees, make sure to add in collateral expenses that won’t show up on the bill, such as room, books, commuting costs, day-care expenses, and so on. And if you plan to give up your job, factor in the time you’ll be without a paycheck and the time it might take you to find a new job. Once you have a cost estimate, it’s time to look for the money.

Following are some suggestions on where to look for financial help.

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Finding Money to Pay College Bills Out of Pocket

You’ve saved for your child’s college education through the years, helped your child research schools, and supervised the application process. Now, thankfully, your child is in college. But you probably can’t disappear just yet — there are still bills to pay. Maybe you underestimated exactly how much financial aid would cover. Or perhaps you knew all along that you’d have to use some of your own resources or take out more loans.

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