Going to university is a huge step for everyone. It takes a lot of passion, grit, and dedication to pursue a college degree. Unfortunately, that’s not all there is to it. Besides your drive to graduate with a professional degree, other considerations need to be included in the picture.
According to experts, education is an investment. Thus, you need money to go to school. This will cover a lot of expenses during the whole duration of your college life. Having finances covered will allow students to enjoy their years of education debt-free, which can reduce one’s anxiety. Instead, students can channel all their energy into acing their subjects instead of worrying about where they can get payments for the next semester.
While you can say that money is not everything, it definitely makes the world go round. Money allows you to live your life comfortably. Without money, you can’t buy food, pay your bills, purchase clothing, splurge on your basic necessities, and even go to school. Every move you make in this corporate-run world requires money and other financial transactions. However, you should also be careful in handling money because many temptations around you push you to become wasteful and unappreciative of what you already have.
For educational purposes, money is essential because you need to pay for your tuition to get through school. Aside from tuition, there are definitely more expenses you might have to incur. These involve costs for projects, research papers, extracurricular activities, and even internships. The list goes on and on. Thus, before applying for university, one needs to be prepared to take on the massive responsibility of paying for school.
1) Application fees and requirements
Before you can go to school, you need to apply and be accepted first. Aspiring college students are typically advised to apply to five to eight universities to allow for more choices if the student gets admitted to more than one university.
Every student needs to go through the lengthy process of securing the application’s documents to do this. These include copies of your diploma, your academic transcript, proof of language proficiency, motivation letter, reference letters, and others. As these are legal documents, you need to process them in your school and pay for them. Besides this, you need to pay for the institution’s application fee, which may cover your entrance exams and interviews.
Over the years, application fees have grown to be expensive. To solidify this claim, here is a list of universities in the United States with the most expensive application fees:
Imagine having to apply to more than three universities with those application fees.
After you receive your acceptance letters from the schools you sent applications to, it’s time to choose a school to enroll in. You will process all the requirements you have left to finalize your enrollment, and you will be given a breakdown of your tuition. This already covers books, library and subject costs, and others.
Of course, if you chose to go to an expensive university, your tuition will be quite pricey because of their call for quality education. However, if you’re having trouble with finances, there could be other options. You can apply for scholarships that will shoulder all your school expenses or apply for grants you can pay later. You can try to refinance your student loan through a reputable source.
With that in mind, make sure you are ready for the responsibility you will be paying after graduation because the debt will pile up for a few years. If there are ever any more complications and you think money really is hard to come by, you can choose in-state schools with programs that are the same as those in private schools. Many in-state schools are competitive; you just need to find the right one.
3. Board and lodging
Unless you’re lucky enough to be living somewhere near campus, you need to think about an additional financial consideration—board and lodging. There are two options. One is to live inside the campus, and the second is to live somewhere outside the school. There are different pros and cons to living inside and outside the campus. Here are a few:
a) Living inside campus
As for pros, when you live inside the campus, you’re much closer to your classes and have fewer chances of being late. Likewise, the experience is different as there are programs meant only for in-campus lodgers. There are also amenities available for students, including laundry. Students can also opt for meal plans in the cafeteria. Aside from this, staying inside the campus is so secure.
However, there are also downsides to living on campus. These include higher fees, having a roommate, and getting limited privacy. You can’t choose who your roommate will be as you are housed based on classification. Also, if you’re not keen on sharing, it will be hard to concentrate on schoolwork.
b) Living off-campus
Choosing to live off-campus is a different story. Aside from being cheaper than in-campus lodging, you can select where you want to stay as long as it fits your budget.
If it’s quite costly, you can find a flat mate you personally know. This way, it doesn’t get awkward to get to know someone, and you can freely move around your apartment. Likewise, if you have a flat mate, you will be sharing the home, but with different rooms. Thus, you can maintain your privacy and enjoy it. It will also not be bothersome when you study, knowing that you have space all to yourself.
Furthermore, most apartments come complete with equipment, including a kitchen, bathroom, and others. You can cook by yourself and even wash your clothes there. Aside from all these, you won’t have to worry about breaking curfew because you don’t live within the campus.
One thing you need to consider, however, is transportation. If you can’t find a place entirely close to campus, you’ll have to incur expenses for traveling to and from school. To enjoy off-campus living, make sure you find a place that can match or level the security that an on-campus service has to offer.
As a growing teenager given a huge responsibility, your energy will be drained most of the time. This is because of the classes you can barely keep up with, piles of homework, an unending number of requirements, and other extracurricular activities you will encounter during your college experience. It’s going to be a whirlwind, and, sometimes, you’re going to forget about having to eat.
However, as a person, your body will scream for nutrition, and during your four- or five-year stay at university, you will have to eat. Thus, food is an added expense. When you were in high school, you might have noticed that the school cafeteria provided you with food and lunches that were quite expensive. Imagine how much higher the cost is going to be when you’re in college. Thus, it’s time to start learning how to cook to save money on your meals.
When you make this decision, it’s best to prepare all your meals during the weekend. This way, when you’re running late for class, you can just heat your food in the microwave and take it with you while you walk, or eat it when you finish your class for the first period. Meal preps will save your life and your bank account, and you can also take charge of your intake because you can freely choose what nutritious meals you want to enjoy.
Sometimes, you get overwhelmed with all the expenses you’re going to have that you forget the value of what you’re trying to attain. While it’s true that a college education at a private university incurs a lot of costs, it’s an opportunity many people will take without having to think twice.
Quality education is hard to come by, and if you want to be successful in the future, you will need all the help you can get. This includes enrolling in a university known to produce graduates with many potentials to survive in the financial industry. While it is true that you make your future and name for yourself, your educational attainment will help you make better decisions. You can also apply what you have learned in school to the path you’re about to take.
A college degree is worth every penny. The financial struggles to complete it are just another challenge one should survive to become a better person. Along the way, there will be more financial needs to complete your education, and you will have to continue finding ways to push through. However, you need to know that there are many available options you can consider. Being smart with your decisions is the best thing you can apply to complete your degree. It is best to explore all your options to map out how you will continue with your degree correctly.