Okay College is Expensive, and I’m Not Rich
I think I already discussed that I’m a working mother, the key words being “working” (I have a job so no one pays my bills for me – – unfortunately) and “mom” which means I have to support someone other than myself. No matter what political side of the fence you land on, it’s easy to understand that in these current times EVERYTHING is expensive, from fuel costs to a carton of milk. The company I work for doesn’t offer tuition reimbursement, so paying for my own college education was something I felt I couldn’t handle and one of the many reasons why I deferred the process for so long.
I remember watching my favorite morning television show, Good Morning America, about a year ago and George Stephanopoulos (who I not so secretly adore) interviewed Connecticut quadruplets, the Crouch’s, who had all been accepted to Yale University. They were an amazing group but what I remember most is that when they were asked about the financial burden of four tuition’s, they said they weren’t worried about it, they said the money would come. To quote one of the eclectic Crouch quadruplets… “if you’re qualified and you get admitted, then money won’t be an issue at all”. They were specifically referring to Yale and their wonderful financial aid program, but what I heard was the simple sentiment, if you’re qualified don’t let money be your issue, the money will come. Two months earlier I had been at a college informational workshop and had heard the same thing from the speakers. I guess it finally all made sense to me because over the years I had done many things that I didn’t believe I could afford and somehow I found a way.
I signed up for my first class which would cost roughly 700 dollars and I took a line of credit out from the local credit union at a low interest rate to pay. I set up a 75.00 a month automatic payment from my checking account to pay off the loan and it worked. By the time the class was over I had paid off the loan, and for class number 2 and 3 and so forth I did the same thing. I wished I could afford to take more classes but I didn’t want to go into debt paying for a college education. I also had a full time job to juggle as well so I simply couldn’t take any more than one or two classes a semester. (Tip for those of you who don’t belong to a credit union, join PenFed who has the BEST RATES out there for a variety of loans. You can join online at http://www.penfed.org) Between the credit union loans and setting aside money from tax refunds, I felt that I was doing well. But maybe I could do better. What I was learning as I looked into financial aid, is that most adult learners like myself don’t qualify for many scholarships because of the number of classes I am taking. I am not a “part-time” students since I don’t take the minimum number of credits to give me that status. I knew there had to be other opportunities out there – and I plan to find them. I purchased a book from Amazon.com, “How to Go To College Almost for Free” and I am on chapter 4! As I get tips I will share them with you.
My final piece of advice is never pay full price for textbooks. The book pictured in the photo is for the class I am taking this semester. The cost in the university book store was 204.70 for a new book and 153.55 for a used one. As soon as I found the course information on line for my professor, I immediately went to Amazon.com and E-bay to search for the book. I ended up securing the same book for only 73.49 plus shipping! At the end of the semester, I can then sell my book to the University Book store for about 50% of their used value, irregardless if I bought it from them! Or you can sell used textbooks back to Amazon. Simply plug in your ISBN number at the Amazon site and they will tell you what the buy back value is, and send you a free shipping label! (check out http://www.amazon.com/Sell-Books/b/ref=amb_link_364399982_2?ie=UTF8&node=2205237011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-5&pf_rd_r=FA92F7AC944B4D618C58&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1388612982&pf_rd_i=465600). Not a bad deal.
So remember, always check Amazon and E-bay for buying your text books and consider rentals. But do it quickly, the book I bought from Amazon.com for 73.49, now only one week later is selling for 158.15 – Amazon is all about supply and demand, so prices won’t always be the same. Do your research early, get your book information and start shopping the internet as soon as possible to get the best deals. Be certain the ISBN numbers match and the majority of the time you will find your books considerably cheaper this way, as I have.
Less than 6 days before I start my class – starting to get nervous!