Best Strategy for Out-of-State Students Studying in California on a Budget

Over the past decade, the cost of college education in the state of California has tripled. This has occurred amidst an increased cost of living as well as economic meltdowns.

Colleges and universities administration has attributed this to decreased state and federal governments funding. As a result, most institutions of higher education have had to supplement the financial gap accrued to fulfill their budgets. Subsequently, out-of-state students have been adversely affected as they currently pay up to thrice the fees paid by California residents pursuing the same courses.

How Can Out of State Students Study in California on a Budget?

Before Admission….

  • Calculate Costs

Before applying to universities, use a net price calculator to determine the total cost of attending a specific university. Armed with this information, you can compare schools and choose a school within your budget.

Several state universities subsidize out-of-state students who exhibit academic prowess in their studies. This requires maintaining a high GPA right from high school. With good grades, a student has high chances of gaining merit-based scholarships.

One can also look into regional reciprocity compacts such as the Western Undergraduate Exchange. This is available for students from the following states Alaska, Colorado, Arizona, North Dakota, California, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Hawaii, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, South Dakota, Idaho, and Oregon. In this pact, students from member states, are eligible for resident tuition fees or a discount to all state universities within the region.

  • Seek Waivers from the Institution

Some universities waive tuition fees for their alumnus children.

According to the H.R. 3230 Law of 2014, veterans, military servicemen, and their dependents have an automatic in-state status across all states in America. Hence they are eligible to pay tuition as residents regardless of which state they come from.

  • Become a Resident of California

Often, students move to California, and after a year they apply to state universities as residents. Unfortunately, this is not always successful. For a student to be treated by the school administration as a resident, proof of residency must be shown. This can be done by having a valid driver’s license, having registered as a voter in California, and owning a current account with a local bank. You will also need to show that you intend to remain in California after your studies.

This will not only cut tuition costs by almost half, but you will also get to transfer credit hours to a four-year institution. Make sure to align your associate degree with a major at your preferred university to avoid wasting time and money having to retake courses.

After Admission….

  • Apply for Financial Aid

Most universities have a financial aid office, which assists students on methods of subsidizing their tuition fees. Aid offered to college and university students may be in the form of scholarships, grants, and work-study. As an out-of-state resident, you are eligible for all forms of financial aid available to in-state students. The financial aid office should provide you with information regarding the aid you can apply for. Aid may be merit-based or need-based, and all these can be accessed by American citizens.

  • Be creative with Text Books

As a student, one requires textbooks to study and do research. Instead of buying new textbooks at your campus bookshop; rent books or buy them from sites such as Amazon, Slug Books, and Barnes and Noble, who sell books at discounted rates.  Always use your student ID to take advantage of student discounts at most stores.

  • Prioritize

Buying a car might be an expensive decision if you are operating on a budget. Most students use bicycles to access classes and their other destinations. Cycling will not only keep you healthier, but you are also guaranteed to save money that you would have used for vehicle maintenance and gas. Having a room- mate to share bills with is another great way to prioritize spending.

California College Bound invites you to sign up with us today, and we will guide you on the best strategies for cutting costs and saving money while in university.

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