The Biggest Money-Saving Tip for College Students

Tom and Jean Ralphio

There aren’t many things better than reaching into your pocket and finding $20.  It gives you so many options because suddenly you have the opportunity to utilize $20 that you forgot you had…and that you’ve managed to survive without.

Well what it we told you that we know what the biggest money-saving tip for college students is; one that will be like reaching into your pocket and finding thousands of dollars.  We’re guessing that you’d be pretty interested, right?

The best way to slash college costs is for you to cash in on previous credits earned before arriving on campus.  You need to scrap the idea that college is simply a 4, or more, year process.  You can graduate college in 3 ½ years if you choose to do so and develop a plan of action. Heck, even 3 years is a possibility if you push yourself.

Think about it…this year, according to the Cost of Attendance figures for IUB (numbers will vary depending on campus), every semester you attend school you’ll need an extra $11,916 or $22,987 (resident or non-resident).  So if instead of taking 4 years to get your degree, you take 3 ½ years, you’ll save that $11,916/$22,987.  That’s a pretty big number, wouldn’t you agree?

Now, you may be thinking that in order to graduate in 3 or 3 ½ years, you’ll have to put in some extra hours that could cost you money and possibly your sanity…and you might be right.

In order to graduate in 3 ½ years, you’d have to take 17 credit hours per semester, which is a pretty tall order.  You could remedy this by taking summer classes each year.  Doing this means that you wouldn’t be able to save the money we mentioned above because you’d have extra tuition to pay for the summer courses, but you’d have less in living expenses because you wouldn’t have to pay them for the 8th semester.  So…you’d still be saving lots of money.

In high school, did you take dual-credit (ACP) courses or sit for 4 AP exams and forget the scores you received? What about the first-year French course you tested out of? Those can be several more hours towards your college degree. If so, the first thing you should do when you step on IU’s campus is ask your advisor what your status is.  Even though it will be your first day at IU, you might have enough college credit to be a 2nd semester freshman or even a sophomore.  If that’s the case, then you can immediately start working on your courses for your major, meaning you won’t have to spend as much time in college in order to get your degree…meaning less money that you’ll have to spend in order to get your degree.

Do not discount how big of a money-saving tip graduating as soon as you can is.  If your goal is to graduate with as little debt as possible, this will be the way for you to do it.  The only downside is that you might have to get new pants to hold all the money you’ll have.