College can be a pivotal experience in a person’s life—it can also be one of the most expensive. It does not have to be that way, though. There are several options available to the university student—whether clean out of high school, or returning to school after a long absence.
Some of the options available to students—both graduate and undergraduate—to keep the costs of school in check:
Scholarships and grants.
The number of scholarships available to college students can be extremely staggering. Check the financial aid page of the university of your choosing, and usually there you will find a large list of scholarships and grants available to qualified students. There is money available for many disciplines, and for almost every major. Each scholarship has requirements—such as letters of intent and enrollment conditions.
In addition to school based scholarships, both corporations and professional associations provide grants to students who are members of or have family members in their organization. They are an excellent way to help with everything from extra tuition money to complete scholarships—including books, housing and living expenses.
Regional tuition discounts.
Depending on the area that you live, there are tuition reduction programs to help you pay for college when staying in the region—one example is the New England Regional Student Program (RSP), financial aid plans that reduce out-of-state tuition—up to $7000 per year—for eligible students attending school in the Northeast. This way, a student can go to their chosen school and not have to pay outrageous out of state cost. The Western Undergraduate Exchange offers up to $7,500 for students in the western states.
If you pay education expenses for yourself, your spouse or your child during the year, you might be able to deduct qualified expenses. The educational institution must be able to claim a college-tuition tax deduction. Check with your school to see if they are approved for this tax break.