When I started college in 2014, I was well aware of the investment my family and I were undertaking. A college graduate makes hundreds of thousands more over the course of their career than someone with a high school diploma, according to the Office of Retirement Policy: Men earn $900,000 more, and women make $630,000 more. But that financial advantage comes at a cost.
Total student loan debt in the United States is more than $1.53 trillion, according to Federal Reserve data. A recent survey found that 39 percent of college students with loans would consider dropping out of school before taking on more debt.
Using four tricks, I saved over $10,000 a year — roughly the cost of in-state tuition for a semester at my school, the University of Missouri. Here are some things not to do if you too want to save big: