How to make college more affordable

October 30, 2023

A professor shows a student something on their laptop during class.

A college education is within reach. Here are seven practical, cost-saving options to explore to make college more affordable.

College is the next important step in your education as many careers require a degree beyond high school. A bachelor’s degree provides an exciting opportunity for students to learn more about who they are and gain the necessary skills to begin their careers.

At Quinnipiac, we recognize that paying for college can be intimidating, but there are many resources available to bring a college education within reach. Below, you’ll find strategies that you can take advantage of to help ease the cost of college.

1. Explore various financial aid opportunities

A crucial first step in making college more affordable is to explore the various financial aid avenues available. Scholarships, grants and loans can significantly reduce the costs associated with tuition, textbooks and other educational expenses. Many educational institutions, such as Quinnipiac, offer an array of financial aid options tailored to students' specific needs

2. Apply for scholarships

Scholarships are an excellent way to reduce college expenses since they don't need to be repaid. Many organizations, both locally and nationally, offer scholarships based on academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, talents and more. Research and apply for scholarships that align with your strengths and interests to increase your chances of receiving financial assistance. Check with your employer, your guardians’ employer, your town, local organizations and gift aid from the colleges you are applying to.

Quinnipiac University automatically considers academic scholarships to incoming students with no separate forms to complete. You are encouraged to explore Quinnipiac grants and scholarships as well as additional scholarship opportunities.

3. Utilize federal grants

Federal grants, such as the Pell Grant, are awarded based on financial need. By completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you can determine your eligibility for federal grants and other financial aid options.

4. Work-study programs

Many colleges offer work-study programs that allow you to work part-time while pursuing your education. These programs provide valuable work experience and a steady income to help cover part of your educational costs. Check with your college's financial aid office to explore available work-study opportunities. If work-study is not available to you, check with your college for on campus job availability.

5. Create a realistic budget

Being financially literate is important to managing college expenses. Create a budget that includes your income, expenses, and potential savings. Look for areas where you can cut unnecessary costs and prioritize your spending on essentials like tuition, housing and books.

6. Textbook alternatives

Textbooks can be expensive, but there are alternatives to buying brand-new books. Look for used textbooks, digital versions or explore textbook rental services to save on this aspect of your education.

7. Take advantage of tax credits

There are tax credits available for eligible students and their families that can help offset education expenses. The American Opportunity Tax Credit[MK8] and the Lifetime Learning Credit are examples of tax incentives designed to make higher education more affordable.

By implementing these strategies, you can reduce the overall cost of attending college. Remember that researching your options, applying for financial aid early, and maintaining a careful budget are key to achieving your academic goals while maintaining financial control.

For answers to common questions about financial aid, check out our financial aid FAQs, and explore Quinnipiac University Undergraduate Financial Aid resources such as scholarships and grants. Our dedicated financial aid staff are available to answer questions and guide you throughout the entire financial aid process.

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