Save money by attending community college

Why you should consider starting your college degree at a community college

Save money by attending community college I know, I know…you’ve heard the myths before about community college, like it’s for students who aren’t good enough to get into a “real” college.

Luckily for you, that’s not true.Community college is not only a solid choice from an educational standpoint; it also makes great financial “cents.” (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself).

You don’t have to be a math whiz to figure out it’s significantly cheaper to take classes at a community college compared to a private or public university. But even beyond the obvious tuition savings, let me give you three benefits of taking classes at a community college.

1. You can live at home
A great way to save money when attending a community college is by living at home.

A study by College Board from 2006-2007 found that the average cost of room and board for public universities was $6,636; at private universities, it was $7,791. In addition, they say the cost of on-campus housing goes up around $400 each year.

Even if your parents decided to charge you a little rent, it would be cheaper than living on campus at a university. In addition, even if it costs you extra gas money each week, you still come out ahead if you live at home.

2. You can transfer credits
Keep in mind that with just about any major, you’re going to have to take a certain amount of general education classes.

Get all your general education classes taken care of at a community college, then transfer them to a four-year school later. I did this for two semesters in college, and it saved me thousands of dollars!

How do you do this? Three simple steps…

• Get a list of the required general education classesfor your intended major from the school you plan to transfer to.

• Talk to the four-year schoolto make sure the community college classes you plan to take will transfer. Get it in writing.

• Compare the list of classesrequired from your future school with what the community college offers. Sign up for classes and start saving money!

3. You can earn college credit in high school
“Dual enrollment” is basically a two-for-one deal on your education. While still in high school, you can take classes that give you credit not only toward your high school diploma, but also toward a college degree.

Here’s the best part: Most of the time, your high school will actually pay for some or all of it!

Starting your college education at a community college may be one of the simplest and easiest things you can do to save money. Then transfer to a four-year school. Get your big, fancy degree there, and no one will ever know how you got it so inexpensively. Your secret’s safe with me!

Grant Baldwin is a national youth speaker, teen money expert, author of Reality Check and creator of the student financial Web site Go there to download his free e-book, How To Go To College For FREE!


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