How to Make University More Affordable
University can ultimately be a great investment — it may even be a necessary investment if your dream career requires a degree. However, at the time of enrollment, university can seem like a huge expense that you’ll never be able to pay off. The good news is there are ways to make university more affordable, whatever your situation.
1. Apply for Student Aid
Start applying for student aid as soon as possible to maximize what you receive. This will ensure you don’t miss any deadlines — which is particularly important when the paperwork is complicated. As well as loans and grants, you may be able to find scholarships or aid as a reservist, protected person, Indigenous person, or athlete.
2. Earn Credit in Advance
If your school accepts credit from other places, you may be able to reduce the number of classes you need to take. Most online courses for credit have a cost, since you need to complete a proctored exam at the end. However, they’re still more affordable than classes at university. For skills you already possess, you may be able to just take an exam without needing to study anything.
3. Enroll in an Undergraduate Diploma Program
Depending on your goals, you may not need a full degree. An undergraduate diploma can prepare you for the job you want after graduation without requiring the time and monetary investment of a full degree. Plus, if you decide you want to pursue a degree later (such as when you’re in a better situation financially), you can top up the diploma you’ve already earned.
4. Buy Used Textbooks
One of the biggest expenses for students after tuition is textbooks. Often, there’s no need to purchase new books, as students who have just finished the class will be selling theirs. If your campus bookstore sells out before you can snap up the textbooks you need, check online — just make sure you choose the right editions.
An even cheaper option can be to simply borrow books. You may be unable to find the right edition in the library, but you can usually rent textbooks from a provider for a small fee. The disadvantage of this, of course, is you’ll have nothing to sell after you’ve completed your class.
5. Graduate as Soon as Possible
It’s easy to unintentionally add a couple semesters to your time at university. You may decide to switch majors, enroll in more electives than necessary just for interest, or take time off to pursue another opportunity. Whereas all these can improve or enrich your university experience, they will end up costing you. Besides the extra expense of classes, starting your career later will mean more time when you’re not earning money and paying back your student debt. For this reason, you should think carefully about any big decisions you make and evaluate if they’re worth the eventual cost.
6. Work Part Time
Finding a part-time job can help you pay off some of your student loans while you’re studying and can compensate for any additional time you spend at university. Plus, you’ll have something to put on your resume when you graduate. Just make sure you can fit a job into your schedule, especially if you’re taking as many classes as possible to graduate early. The last thing you want is for your grades to suffer because you’re trying to save money.
Another big expense at university is housing. A more affordable option is Ontario Tech University off-campus housing from 17Hundred. Our student rentals have everything you need for a great college experience, including high-speed internet, fully-furnished bedrooms, and fantastic amenities. Book a video tour to see why you’d love living here.