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How To Reduce The Cost of College

Updated on July 21, 2012
Cost of College
Cost of College

Aside from financial aid and grants, there are other ways to reduce the cost of college after high school. However, I recommend that you read up on student financial aid first. This will help pay for your books, tuition, room and board and more. To find out more about financial aid, check out How to Apply For Financial Aid. That link leads to a step by step guide for applying for student financial aid, something you will definitely want to do if you do not plan on paying out of pocket.

Lower Cost Schools (Community Colleges)

If you plan on working toward your bachelor's degree, you need to know that most four-year schools are pretty expensive. Consider starting at a two-year community college and then transferring to a four-year school. Community colleges usually cost much less than four-year schools although, you may be able to find a less expensive four-year school as well. If the community college you apply for allows you to live at home, that saves money on room and board. If you choose to start at a community college, be sure that your courses will transfer to your four-year school and that they will count towards your bachelor's degree. Most community colleges offer courses that specifically transfer to four-year degrees. Be sure to check with your school's registrar for information on these courses.

State Higher Education Agency

State Higher Education Agencies can let you know about any aid programs or special scholarships provided by your state. Be sure to check out this list of State Higher Education Agencies for their contact information.

Get a Job – Work Study

This one should be pretty obvious. You can work at least part-time to help you pay for part of your costs. Some schools offer work-study programs where they let you work on campus. Be sure to check with your school's financial aid office about any available work-study programs. Also make sure that your work and school schedules do not conflict. Always save time to study.

Federal Income Tax Credits

There are two types of tax credits that are offered by the IRS to help you with the cost of college by reducing the amount of your income tax. These educational credits are known as the Hope Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit.

  • The Hope Tax Credit (American Opportunity Tax Credit) is worth up yo $2,500 per student and is available for the first four years of postsecondary education.

  • The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit is worth up to $2,000 for just about any postsecondary education and training. This applies to undergraduate, graduate and professional degree schools and even applies for less than half time!

For updates on these tax credits, go to, click Individuals, then click Students, then click Higher Education.

For information on other tax benefits for postsecondary students, go to

Tax Breaks

Certain borrowers can take a tax deduction for the interest paid on student loans. This applies to all loans used to pay for postsecondary education expenses. The maximum deduction is $2,500 per year. Click on the link above for more information.


Make sure you look into all of these options to help you reduce the cost of education. If you do, you'll surely find something that will save you some money. I hope this hub helps students in anyway it can and I wish all of you the best of luck with your education. “Dueces”


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    • azure_sky profile image


      7 years ago from Somewhere on the Beach, if I am lucky :)

      Thanks for putting this info all in one place!! One down and one to go, as my oldest has graduated :) Was looking for some info to help get my youngest one through!! I thoroughly appreciate your time in putting this together!!

    • profile image

      sandra f. 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for the useful info. I have a daughter going to college soon and I did not know about state higher education agency,I'm looking into that asap!


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