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Know These 5 Things About the Cost of College 

It’s impossible to scan the financial news these days without seeing at least one article lamenting the high cost of a four-year degree. However, there is some good news for future, current, and past college students. Not only are there scholarships available, but the rise of online learning means that a large number of four-year programs are much less costly than they once were.

Plus, community colleges are an excellent way to knock out the first two years of a degree without paying the price of traditional colleges and universities, which are typically much pricier. Another weapon in the battle against educational expenses is part-time work. Many students offset a portion of their tuition and fees by working for a few hours each week during the semester. Here are some of the most helpful facts to know about the cost of higher education in the 2020s.

Scholarship Money is Out There

Far too many future college students overlook the fact that there are thousands of available scholarships. Of course, no one qualifies for all of them, but it’s essential to locate the opportunities that you are interested in and for which you have a good chance of qualifying. The best way to begin is to find a place online that aggregates all the best providers and lets you review the listings. When all the data is in one place, it’s much simpler to choose the best offers and apply for them all at the same time.

Online Programs are Usually a Bargain

For those who are willing to do the coursework via computer, online programs are one of the best bargains around. Many schools offer all-online study, most of which is self-paced. For anyone who works full-time, an online degree is the smartest way to go because scheduling is never a problem. But the kicker is that computer-based courses cost about half of what in-person ones do.

Education is a Wise Investment

Whether you decide to apply for scholarships, take out loans, work while in school, or tap into savings to cover educational expenses during a four-year degree program, never forget that the effort is worth it, both in terms of dollars and effort. The real secret of getting a degree is that the long-term value is usually much higher than whatever you pay for the education at the time of attending school.

Community Colleges Are a Smart Way to Begin

Not only are community colleges much less costly than traditional four-year schools, but they offer excellent academic preparation for those who plan to transfer to state or private colleges to finish their degrees. Whether you plan to major in liberal arts, business, engineering, math, pre-med, or something else, local community colleges offer high value and low prices. Plus, most of today’s community colleges let students choose online study or in-person coursework.

Part-Time Jobs Help

A part-time, or less than part-time, job can offset a portion of tuition, book expenses, academic fees, and other costs that go with earning a diploma. Don’t try to work full-time while in school because the tight schedule can significantly affect grades. There seems to be an informal consensus that something between five and twenty hours of part-time work per week is the sweet spot for most college students, depending on how heavy their academic course loads are.

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About the author: Access Publishing

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Paso Robles Daily News on Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.