It is a common misconception that quality equals expense. While this may be true in many cases, there are domains where money does not always equal value. It’s important to invest in your education and your professional future but doing this blindly may unnecessarily increase your expenditures and leave you in overwhelming debt. For example, attending a college just for the sake of prestige, without looking into whether the school and its programs are the right fit for you, may result in a lot more debt than attending a less famous and cheaper college that is more suitable for your goals. Another blind spot may be your lack of knowledge of available scholarships and services that would help to keep your costs significantly down.

So, how can you achieve your academic and professional ambitions without breaking the bank? Here’re some tips you might find helpful.

Apply for Scholarships

Applying for scholarships is an obvious step in saving on your tuition and school fees, but it’s nonetheless important to outline how and when to apply.

Firstly, check out scholarship options at the schools you’re interested in. Many schools will automatically consider you for an award when you apply. Check out the eligibility requirements and note down any schools where you would have a good chance of getting the entrance award.

Additionally, there is a huge variety of private and government scholarships available in the United States and Canada, hence you must do your research to find awards that would fit your profile. There are diversity scholarships, merit-based scholarships, need-based scholarships, and more!

Your first step in finding the right grants is to look at the eligibility requirements of each scholarship and make sure you meet them. Next, create a spreadsheet where you can note down the scholarship, its requirements, and the application timeline. Add these dates to your calendar so you do not miss them. Focus on scholarship applications that do not have any application fees – this will help you save even more.

Save on Applications

College applications costs are nothing to scoff at. An average college student applies to 12-15 colleges per cycle. This adds up to hundreds of dollars. Some students make the mistake of applying to as many schools as possible instead of applying strategically.

Instead of relying on quantity, focus on applying to schools that would be the perfect fit for your goals and your student profile. This means that you must meet the school’s requirements, like GPA expectations, standardized test score averages, and experiences. You can find this information by visiting the websites of the schools you are interested in. Create a spreadsheet where you can record this information, so you can return to it when you start your applications. This research may seem like a lot of work, but it will help you save money. How? You will not send applications in vain to schools where you have zero chance of getting in.

Use Free Resources Available to You

There are many free quality resources available to you, both for academic subjects and for guiding you through various college applications and interviews. If you are struggling with a class, start by approaching your teacher to ask for help or clarifications. In addition to sitting down with you to review the content, they may give you additional homework or assignments to absorb your learnings. Plus, your eagerness and work ethic will not go unnoticed, and this teacher may become a great candidate for writing your recommendation letter later.

Many schools offer free tutoring and prep courses for school subjects. They are designed to aid with course materials, assignment completion, and test preparation. If you are not aware of such services at your school, visit the library or talk to your school’s academic advisor to learn whether such courses or services are offered.

Finally, there are thousands of free informative online resources that can help you study for tests and exams. You can also find trusted and verified online blogs, guides, and videos that help you prepare for the application process and the interview. These are especially helpful as they eliminate a lot of the “unknown” elements, such as essay prompts or interview questions, and start you on your preparations early in the cycle. This way you will not miss any application deadline due to stress or unexpected components.


You must face the fact that education is a costly investment. For most of us, the cost of education must be budgeted and planned ahead of time. Collecting information on how to keep to your budget is a normal part of your preparation for life after high school. Budgeting your undergrad costs will become especially important if you plan on continuing your education after college via grad school or expensive professional programs like law school, MBA, or medical school.