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Ways to Reduce the Cost of Attending College in America

Paying for the cost of college in America can be a financial burden to many families. While securing scholarship is the best way to help defray that cost, there are a few things you can do to manage your expenses.
By GPA Admin

Ways to Reduce the Cost of Attending College in America

Obviously, we advise that you consider applying to schools that provide merit-based scholarships to international students. 

The Golden Path Guide directory of schools consists of more than 600 schools that offer these awards, so be sure to look at them first. Scholarships offered by schools on our site range from a full package (covering all tuition and fees and cost of living) to partial scholarships covering anywhere from 25%, 50% or 100% of tuition costs.

In the event that you do not qualify for merit scholarships, we have come up with a few ways to help you cut costs.

  • Going for the Best Buyschoosing colleges with the highest quality education or with programs more directly designed for the chosen field of study but with the lowest comparative cost. There are a number of public and private institutions rated by Fiske as "best buyes" that we have included in the Golden Path Guide listing. Please click here to search our lists.

  • Expediting Your Programas you know, an undergraduate program generally takes four years and a graduate program takes two years. However, if you can take more courses in a semester and meets the full credit requirements for the program in fewer semesters than normal, you can shorten the length of your studies and therefore reduce the costs. Many productive students in the U.S. finish their degree in 3 or 3.5 years instead of 4.

  • Reducing Living Expensessaving on living expenses can greatly reduce a student’s total expenses through college.  Becoming a Resident Assistant (R.A.) comes with free lodging at a dormitory and possibly free meals and a small salary.  Living off campus with relatives or friends also helps as long as the student has suitable accommodations as well as efficient and affordable transportation to access the campus.

  • Considering Two-Year and Community Collegesby attending two-year and community colleges for the first two years and then transferring to four-year colleges, students can save thousands of dollars in tuition and fees. This should only be considered if you have no other alternatives. 


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