Education is not affordable in the United States of America. All but the most privileged students finish their higher education with large amounts of debt. There are, however, several pathways that prospective students can take that ease the financial cost of getting a good education. Here are four ways that students can keep costs down.

Distance Learning

Distance learning is one of the best ways to earn a degree without paying massive university fees. Affordable online college degrees typically do not have the prestige of their red brick cousins, but they do provide all the training that you need to pursue a career in your chosen subject. In recent years, technologies have been adopted by distance learning colleges to complement the university experience. Video conferencing, simulated experiences, and collaborative tools are all commonly used.


Scholarships are one of the most beneficial kinds of financial aid that the prospective American student can receive. Unfortunately, actually getting a scholarship is far from easy. You will need to work on a skill or academic area of expertise that makes you a desirable student. Colleges give out scholarships for their benefit – not necessarily the student’s. Colleges typically want to boost the success of their overall cohort, and taking in talented students will help them achieve this goal. Scholarships do not have to be based on academic achievement. Some colleges give out generous scholarships to students that excel in sports.

Start With Community College

Community colleges only charge a fraction of the tuition costs that other public universities do. Most community colleges provide transfer training and academic counseling that is designed to help you switch over to a more academically prestigious university if you want to. This transfer is not necessarily easy: only around 25 percent of community college graduates manage to transfer to a full bachelor’s degree at another university. Community colleges, however, will do everything in their power to help you.

Study In State

While it might be tempting to search far and wide for a college to attend, students usually get a discount when they apply to universities in their home state. Colleges rightly assume that you and your family are likely to pay taxes in your home state. These same taxes go some way to subsidizing public universities, so those same universities tend to give a significant discount to local students. According to the US College Board, in-state students pay an average of 10,560 dollars for tuition. Out-of-state students pay around 27,000 dollars. As you can see, the discount is sizable for people that choose to stay put.

It might not be ideal, but staying in your local area to study can have another massive price benefit: staying with your family. Room and board are immensely expensive in most American cities, so staying with your parents can end up saving you a huge amount of money if you are lucky enough to have parents that will let you stick around.

If you want to continue with further education but are worried about the cost, these tips should give you some solid information about keeping the costs down.