In the DMV we are lucky to have a number of education options available. Did you know there are also ways to reduce tuition costs? Here are five ways to cut college tuition costs by a third or more.
- Many people we know spend the first two years of school at community colleges and then transfer to their desired school for the final two years of study. For example, Montgomery College has a tuition of $5000 a year. The University of Maryland is $12,000 a year, ($20,000 if you live there). So you can either pay $80,000 for a four year degree from UMD… or $50,000, for the exact same degree by first completing your core credits at a local community college. That move save you $30,000 on tuition costs.
- And many companies in the DC area will pay for your tuition. The MITRE Corporate , with offices in McLean, Virginia, will cover $28,000 of your studies. Assuming your student picks up a graduate degree at night over three years at one of these employers that is another $84,000 in tuition assistance. And you get to apply what you learn right away.
- Also, DC residents should learn about the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant program which grants up to $50,000 in benefits.
- Stay close to home. UVA’s in state tuition is around $20,000 a year. Out of state? Almost $50,000 a year. Save your family $120,000 by selecting avoiding a school that requires a trip on the beltway to get there.
- Finally, many colleges offer a discount to children of employees. For example, here is the 50% of tuition remission offered to University of Maryland Employees. That is $24,000 in tuition assistance right there.
Combining these steps can make tuition more affordable for both private and public colleges (and some high schools). These five options total $308,000 in tuition assistance with no scholarships. This will save you from having to earn almost $400,000 in income to pay for the stuff.
Education is a high priority in the DC area given the nature of the work here. Area institutions, governments and employers recognize and support this if you take the steps to apply for the benefits.
Often, after a holiday weekend such as the recent July 4th celebration we find our we have upgraded our life style without upgrading our income. This can be detrimental to paying for tuition and it’s easy to go cash flow negative if the fancy new life style becomes the new normal.
Luckily, there is a super easy method to reset life style meter that has been around for thousands of years.
The middle road doesn’t work
At first glance it seems that the right thing to do should be to “get back on the budget” after a big spending trip or “eat right” after festive holiday meals out at fancy restuarants.
However, that is really difficult to do as we experience a downgrade and most of us our loss averse. Who wants to go around with limits and carefully watching every move? Not me. That is too hard!
Go completely without for an instant attitude adjustment
Instead, take the easier path and skip it. And I mean skip it. Hit the easy button to turbo boost your tuition payments for school by going to the opposite extreme for just a few days and avoid the behavior entirely. This will quickly reset your hedonistic meter and is a fun challenge in of itself.
For example, did you just visit a bunch of wonderful restaurant’s last week while on travel? Good for you! Now next week fast for the first day and then eat only at home for the rest of the week. The benefit is that a fast is an interesting challenge, a break for both your overloaded digestive and financial systems. And, I assure you, after a 24 hour fast, rice and beans and is a flavor fest. And then, when you do go out again, a simple drive through option will seems luxurious and you will naturally be more appreciative and much slower to inflate your life style. Of course check with your doctor before conducting a fast or any major change to your life style. This should not be considered medically or life style advice. It is just the way we do it.
To reiterate, learn to hit the easy reset button by going to the other extreme. Did you drive to the beach and back? Take two days off from driving before you end up jetting all over town using up gallons of gas and depreciating your car as quick as you can start up the engine.
Meditate on the meaning of emptiness
Budgets, counting calories, rationing gas is too hard, and no fun. Expand your mind with the age old practice for completely abstaining from the consumption in question for just a short while. Free your mind and your bank account at the same time.
It is here
Black Friday is in just a few days! One can save thousands by acting fast! One day sales only! Plan ahead! Quick! Move! Urgent! You Might Miss Out! We Might Miss Out!
Save hundreds by spending thousands.
Sure, your credit card balance will rise but hey, look at all the new fancy stuff you didn’t even know you needed!
Get out of line. Empty your online cart. Turn of the sources of advertisements that short circuit your brain. Breath in. Hold for ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two and one.. And out.
That stuff will still be there next week. And the week after that. And without time pressure you can buy fewer items and spend less money overall. The easiest way to save 100% is to not spend it.
How about this instead? Consider just 4 items as gifts for the holidays.
- Something they want
- Something they need
- Something to wear
- Something to read
Give them the benefits of a frugal Christmas. This in turn may allow for higher quality items to be purchased while creating less waste.
Holly Robinson has an amazing article about how one of her children seemed to need – and then benefit- from a private school education. She reports that “our son was transformed within a few weeks”.
This is an amazing story of where a program and child align well.
Each child is different and it’s great to at least have the option of something other than school that happens to be closest to your house.