I've been reading more and more about people's college debt, and how it hurts them financially for the rest of their life, or at least many years down the line. I'd love to prevent that as much as possible for my kids, which is why, even though there are many years until my kids are college age, I am thinking now about how to save on their college expenses. Here's an idea sent in by a reader, how to lower their living fees while at college.
Keeping costs down as a college student is an essential tip a parent can impart to their children. Parents can teach their children how to stay frugal as they embark on their college life. When you send your child to college, aside from funding their tuition, you also have to think about the college dorm.
When your child is in his or her freshman year, they may find it harder to luck out in the savings department since most universities require them to live on campus. That said, the following years can be an opportunity for savings. Cutting down expenses while in college is possible. Here’s how:
Allow Your Child to Live With You
You have to make your child understand that if they want to help with college expenses, they can stay and live with you. Some students believe that college is the time when they can experience life to the fullest. If your child shoulders their college expenses, you can help them save a boatload of cash if you let them stay with you. They can always enjoy nights out with their friends on the weekends.
Help Your Child Choose the Perfect Dorm
Prices of college dorms depend on the room size, inclusions, and general condition. For example, newer dorm rooms would typically cost more than those in older buildings. The proximity to the school is a factor, too. Those that are located farther away can be a lot cheaper. Your child could also save a lot when they choose to live with a roommate rather than in a private room. You have to weigh the pros and cons of each and decide from there.
Consider Off-Campus Living
If your child is going to study in an international school like the American International College (aic.edu.kw), then you can save a lot by living off-campus. Getting a house with roommates can potentially cut down costs by half. This option, though, is tricky for those who are under financial aid. Some financial aid packages do not cover off-campus housing. Make sure to check with your sponsor first to avoid problems.
Encourage Your Child to Become a Resident Assistant
Resident assistants (RAs) work in dormitories. They are the ones responsible for ensuring that the rules and regulations of the dorm are strictly enforced. In most universities, those who become resident assistants receive free room and board. There are some guidelines on how your child can become an RA. They must, for instance, maintain high grades and be active in campus extracurricular activities. They can send their applications to their university’s residence life department.
Enroll Your Child in An Online College
If the budget is really tight and college housing can put a dent in your expenses, you might want to consider enrolling your child in an online college. While it can be difficult for some, online education has a few advantages. Your child can work at their own pace wherever they want. They don’t have to pay for housing and transportation. They can live with you, get a part-time job, and still attend college. First, make sure that your child is okay with it. Second, check available online courses that may suit their interests and see whether there is a market for their degree.
Saving up for your child’s education is a continuous process. If you help your child minimize their expenses in college, you are helping them maximize their potential when they begin their working life. If they have enough savings, it won’t be long before they can pay off their student loan debts should they have any after their college years. This way, they can start their adult life on a strong note.