How to compare college and university costs:

Cost vs. Quality of Higher education – part 2* Image credit and source: © Sveta Medvedeva - Shutterstock, Inc

Cost vs. Quality of Higher education – part 2* Image credit and source: © Sveta Medvedeva - Shutterstock, Inc

A feature,

The risk of investing in education, unlike when you take out a home loan to buy property, is that education is not quite as tangible. Simply put, when you graduate or qualify from university or college – the little piece of paper you receive at the ceremony does not guarantee you anything, not even a job. Even if you meet the academic, attendance and financial criteria, there is no guarantee you’ll wake up every morning, sip on a coffee before leaving for your dream 9 to 5. At least with a home loan, if you pay the bond or mortgage you end up with a roof over your head.

1. Decide which qualifications you would like to pursue.

2. Create a list of various institutions that fit your needs or requirements.

3. Make sure you qualify for the university or college study option of your choice.

4. Research and find out if the various career paths you are keen or interested in can be obtained with your desired qualification.

Budget full costs of a study programme –

Four types of budgets: Annually, Monthly, Weekly, Daily

1. Cost of fees – include registration and course fees

2. Living Costs – housing, groceries, entertainment

3. Transport

4. Extra academic fees

5. Added personal extras or obligatory costs

Options for Paying for fees:

1. Private – self funded (study part-time and work full-time, study full-time and work part-time), have a parent, friend, family member, guardian, funder pay for costs.

2. Student Loans

3. Bursary, grants, scholarships, fellowships

4. Private loans

5. Government or national funding setups

Note: Point number 3 – requires research, application time, dedication and effort. Also speak to the student finance office of the institution or a particular academic department to find out what student financial aid options are available. And remember, individual needs are different from person to person, so research as much as you need to and according to your specific needs. I.e. if you need funding for studies in political science – then research accordingly. Looking at relevant setups in this sector that offer funding, related academic departments for leads, information and recommendations and of course a student financial aid office.

Remember getting access to these funding solutions starts with looking, asking and researching first.