Going to college isn’t as affordable as it used to be. Tuition is increasing, textbook prices are rising, and student debt seems inevitable. Many students want to avoid graduating with debt, so they’re living at home, taking multiple jobs, and starting with community college to offset the high costs.
Why is Tuition Soaring?
Between 1981 and 2011, the cost of a year’s education at 4-year public universities jumped from about $7,000 to $17,000 — or from nearly $3,000 to $17,000 in today’s dollars.
The Washington Post‘s Wonkblog identifies three possible answers to the question of why tuition is increasing:
- Schools need more tuition revenues to cover slashed state funding,
- Schools are spending more money than they’re making, and
- Schools need to make up for dwindling donations, especially at private schools.
With such a stress on “college for all,” and with such insistence on the declining value of a college degree, it seems like all we can do is grin and bear the skyrocketing costs. But there are ways that we can take nickels and dimes back for our savings accounts.
Before College: Do Your Homework
Already in College? Move Off Campus
If you’re already in college, consider moving off campus to cut thousands of dollars off of your tuition bill. Start budgeting for food (of course, easier said than done) and don’t let your meal plans go to waste. Use your student status to your advantage and find some great discounts. There are tons of ways to save money.
Use Every Resource You Can
Since your tuition and fees go toward campus resources like the gym, college sports, and major renovations, now is your chance to use all of the great features and get “free” stuff before you graduate.
This blog — and the NC State Student Commuter Guide — is your resource to learning what NC State offers, how you can save money, and where the fun activities are happening. Enjoy!