How to Save $40k in College

Posted on: Sep 09, 2014

Categories: College, Millennial Perspective


College is expensive. There’s no way around it, and if you want to go to a four-year private institution that offers almost no merit-based scholarships like I did, then you’re really in for trouble.

This is Caroline, Curtis’ millennial marketing manager, and as Curtis just returned from his college tour, I wanted to take this time to give advice to all the new students and their parents.

Education is costly, but I know of one way to make a four-year degree cost less.

Subtract a year.

That’s right — take that four-year degree and cram it into three and save on a year’s worth of tuition (not to mention the salary you’ll make spending that fourth year working instead of in a classroom).

It’s possible, I promise. I know that because I did it.

So, how does one go about graduating in three years?

To start, stop looking at college as the “best years of your life,” because that’s another way of saying “the most wasted years of your life” (pun intended). If you’re going to college to have fun, get drunk, skip class, and “experiment,” then this post is not for you.

I didn’t go to college to have fun, and I certainly hope they weren’t the best years of my life. I had fun, but to me, fun is a by-product of success. If you’re going to college to get real tools to use for the rest of your life, then keep reading, because I think I know how to save you tens of thousands of dollars in the process.

What does not having fun in college look like?

It looks like taking at least 18 credits every semester, starting in your first semester of your freshmen year. There are doubters out there who will tell you not to take such a heavy load when you’re first starting out, but they don’t know you, and they certainly don’t know what you’re capable of.

It looks like spending your summers in a classroom instead of by a pool. If you’re smart, you’ll look into your school’s study abroad programs and maybe even find out that it costs less to take courses in England or France then it does on your home campus. If you’re going to spend the summer studying, you might as well do it somewhere amazing — I did, and England’s fish and chips were delicious.

It looks like staying up until five in the morning working on projects before waking up to be on time for an 8 AM class.

It looks like Friday nights reading textbooks and Saturday afternoons in the library.

It looks like graduating with two or three really close friends who are as crazy driven as you are, rather than 20 “friends” who like to get crazy drunk with you.

It looks like eating well and getting as much rest as you can — rather than eating four a.m. pizza — because you need your body to be healthy and strong and your mind to be alert.

It looks like a lot of hard work if you want to graduate Magna Cum Laude.

It looks like preparing yourself to be an amazing future employee, executive, and CEO.

These college years shouldn’t be the best years of your life. They should be the foundation that allows you to look forward to better years to come by developing the skills, discipline, and character you’ll need for better opportunities to come.

Do you think you can save $40k in college? Comment and tell me how, and share this post with a new college student or their parents.

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