College acceptance letters should be hitting the mailboxes of anxious high school seniors any time now. Once students choose their institution of higher learning comes the hard part: paying for it.
Financial aid, ranging from need-based federal Pell grants and student loans to privately-funded merit scholarships, can cover a big chunk of tuition bills. But filling in the gaps not covered by aid is equally crucial.
To keep a lid on expenses, Dan Landau decided to only apply to colleges close to his Bridgewater, N.J. home. By commuting to Fairleigh Dickinson University, holding down a part-time job, and graduating in three years, he saved over $20,000 on his bachelor’s degree while accruing no student debt.
“The path I took to save money on college is not for everyone, but there are ways to get a quality college education on the cheap,’’ says Landau.
In that spirit of frugality, here are five strategies for cutting your college bills.