After doing some research on US colleges, you’ve probably noticed that they tend to be more expensive than schools in most other countries. And since you won’t exactly get in-state (or even in-country) tuition from most schools in the US, college can be a costly goal.
That’s why you can benefit from all the tips on saving for college that you can get. Check out these ideas as you budget for going to school in the US.
Reduce the Number of Credits You Need
If you’re still in high school, you should find out if you can take any college-level courses so you won’t have to take certain classes once you get to college. This can save you both money and time.
In the US, high school students often have access to advanced placement (AP) classes that they can take before college to earn college credit. You should find out if your school offers a similar option to help with saving for college.
One example that may be available to you is the College Board’s College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). This is a set of exams that test your knowledge in 36 subjects. If you get the minimum score accepted by your college, you can test out of some of your classes. So find out if the US college you want to attend accepts CLEP scores, and then schedule a testing time.
Look Into Financial Aid Options
Sure, you’re probably not eligible for many US financial aid options, such as federal grants and loans. But you still have a chance of getting other forms of financial help, making saving for college a little easier on you.
For instance, you can always apply for scholarships available to students in your current country. You can also check with the financial aid office at the college you want to attend to see if there are any scholarships for international students.
Find a Job
It’s commonly assumed that international students can’t work once they arrive in the US. But that’s not always true. There are many job options for international students.
The type of job you can get just depends on your student visa’s restrictions, so be sure to check the rules associated with it first. But in general, your best bet may be an on-campus job or even a work-study opportunity. This way, the job will be convenient, flexible enough to accommodate your classes, and still able to help with those college savings.
Save Money Once You Arrive
One of the easiest ways to save money in college is to live off-campus with roommates. This is often cheaper than living in the on-campus dorms, especially if you can split the rent and utilities with a few people.
Another thing you should know about saving money in the US is that there are student discounts for college students nearly everywhere. When you go to the movies, local restaurants, theater performances, and other fun activities, ask if there is a student discount and be prepared to show your student identification card to get a few bucks off.
Yet another way to save money once you’re in the US is to buy used books for school whenever possible. All you have to do is search your school’s bookstore for used versions of the books you need for classes. You can also find them used online. Make sure you sell them back at the end of the semester to get back some of your money!
Have you done anything else to help with saving money for college as an international student? Let us know in the comments below!