Best Ways to Save Money in Online Education
Many of us choose to get our degrees online because it's a fantastic way to save money (along with enjoying the luxury of being able to study at our own pace and wherever we'd like). There are no parking costs to worry, textbooks are another story altogether, we can continue to work at our jobs, and room/board are out of the picture. However, just because the costs in these areas is either a lot less or nonexistent doesn't mean that everything is drastically cheaper, as school still isn't free. Here's how to save even more money in online education.
Skip Paying Full Price for Textbooks
No matter how we'd like to get around it and avoid paying, textbooks are a necessary part of just about every course. They contain the material that we use to learn in-depth about a subject and if they didn't, we could all earn degrees based on our prowess with Google searches. But just because textbooks are a required investment doesn't mean they have to be a costly one.
Borrow: Head to your school's library (if you live close to campus) and check the book out, going over it thoroughly before other students have a chance to. And because you'll have your syllabus at the very start, with essay topics already explained, you can go ahead and photocopy important pages once and not have to worry about going back to reread the book.
Look for e-Books: Publishers are finally getting savvy about converting their materials into online versions, which saves money, trees, and the hassle of having to track down one book that an entire class is after. Some schools may have an option where you can buying an electronic edition of the textbook for a fraction of the cost as the physical one, while others may have e-books available in their library catalogue.
Google: Unless you're using a very new textbook (and even this may not always be the case), Google is an excellent source to use when looking for online books. Their only downside is that they may not always show the entire book, and have that dreaded "pages missing" section that could be what you're looking for. But it's still free.
It's your education and your hard-earned dollars, so never settle for anything that you don't feel right about. When it comes to education, never mind online education, you have the luxury of thousands of schools and millions of courses. If you were reading this in another country where education isn't of the same quality, we'd say for sure it'd be a good idea to just become educated.
But not here. Here, you have options, and one of those is making sure you're getting a quality education for the price you want to pay. If you're not happy with one school, keep Googling other ones until you see a sticker price you can afford.
Show Your Employer the Bill
As a big caveat, we're going to say this option won't be for everyone. For example, if you're working in a mom-and-pop bookshop, there just may not be the funds that'd allow you to try this. But if you're working in a bigger corporation and studying something related to your job, by all means, give this a go.
One of the first things entrepreneurs learn is to avoid using their own money for the initial investment whenever possible. This has the double benefit of keeping their own money growing in accounts, as well as provides a cushion if anything goes wrong. The same goes with school: you're investing in your own future, and if you can get someone else (your employer) to pay for your courses, you'll be much better off. Just make sure that before you ask, you're not approaching them with a bad match (e.g. working at a bank and wanting to study 20th century impressionistic art).
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