November 17, 2023
Going to college is an exciting time in one’s life, but it can also be expensive. Fortunately, there are strategies you, as an African immigrant, can use to make college more affordable without taking on copious amounts of student debt. To help, Afrikagora shares some tips and tricks below that will help you save money while pursuing a degree.
Stick to Your Budget
The first step is to set a budget that you can stick to. This means taking into account all of your expenses such as tuition, books, housing, food, and transportation. Once you have an idea of what your expenses are going to be, create a plan so that you can stay within your means and not take on any unnecessary debt.
Consider an Online Degree
An online degree can be a great way to make college more affordable. For example, you can earn a business bachelor’s degree online and have access to the same quality education as on-campus universities, all at a discounted cost. Additionally, online students benefit from the convenience of being able to study as their schedule permits. Furthermore, some universities offer tuition discounts for completing courses early or taking an accelerated program, which further reduces the total cost of an education.
Apply for Scholarships
Scholarships and grants are great ways to reduce the cost of college without having to take out loans or pay back the money later on down the road. There are many organizations offering scholarships for students who meet certain criteria such as academic achievements or financial need, including those immigrating from Africa. Take advantage of these opportunities by researching which ones you qualify for and applying as soon as possible.
Look Into a Work-Study Program
Work-study programs provide students with part-time jobs while they attend school full-time. This way, as College Finances explains, they can earn money toward tuition costs or other expenses related to attending college. These programs often offer flexible hours so that students can balance work with their studies more easily than if they had a full-time job outside of school hours.
Take on a Side Gig or Start a Business
Starting a side gig or business is another way to make some extra cash. This could include freelance writing, tutoring services, web design or development, social media marketing, etc., depending on your skill set and interests. Not only will this help cover some costs associated with attending college, but it will also give you valuable experience in the workforce, which could come in handy after graduation. And, as Techstars points out, it could lead to bigger things one day.
Find Cheaper Off-Campus Housing
Renting off-campus is typically cheaper than living in university dorms or apartments due to lower rent prices and less stringent rules about noise levels and guests. When looking for rental properties off-campus, research online listings online so that you can find the best deals possible. Additionally, consider splitting rent with roommates if possible, as this could further reduce housing costs over time.
Rent Textbooks or Buy Used
One great option for getting textbooks without breaking the bank is to look for secondhand or rental textbook programs. These programs can help students save up to 75 percent of the cost of traditional retail prices according to The Globe. Many colleges and universities have such programs, so it’s worth researching online for existing options or potentially creating a sharing program within your circle of peers.
Making college more affordable doesn’t have to mean taking on student debt. With the right strategies, like careful planning, budgeting, and utilizing a variety of resources, students can make college more affordable. Taking the time to explore all of these avenues can help African-immigrant students save a considerable amount of money for their education expenses.
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