We’ve all heard and have personally experienced how exasperating this economy can be when it comes to finding a job. For some of you, going to school during the recession may be the best option. By biding your time while the unemployment rate steadily improves, you’ll be finished with school with a stronger skill set and a higher energy level. Still, even though you’ve successfully avoided slogging through job applications and sending out resumes, you’ll want to make your education count. School, after all, isn’t free, and it can be an enormous waste of time and money if you aren’t cautious. Here are a few finance tips to make the most of your degree.
1. Strongly consider attending school part-time and working.
Even though you may be attending school partly to bide your time while employment picks up, there are many advantages in working part-time, taking online courses and studying, the most important one being saving some money. Many schools, whether online or not, offer programs that have classes in the evenings and only a few times a week. Although it will take lots of patience and self-discipline, avoiding too many loans and saving some money while you’re at it will put you ahead of the game once you graduate. What’s more, putting yourself out of the work force for several years can have a detrimental effect on your resume, since many employers value experience as much as education.
2. Get as much free financial aid as you qualify for, but avoid as many loans as possible.
It’s very important for students to apply as early as they can for federal student aid. Whether it’s through the government or through your institution, chances are that you can stand to get substantial grants, meaning you won’t have to pay that money back. Applying to outside scholarships is also a great way to have someone else foot the bill while you study. At the same time, you’ll likely be offered many student loans, which can become a tricky business. Some financial experts predict that student loans could turn into the next housing crisis, so if you do have to take out loans, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. If you can afford to cover your living expenses with a job, it’s better to finance your own education than having to pay back substantial amounts of money with heavy interest rates later.
3. Living frugally is easier as a student, so take advantage of this time.
One of the best things about being a student is that you are expected and encouraged to live frugally. Since many of your friends and acquaintances will be students too, you won’t feel pressured to live as extravagantly as your friends who are in the working world. Take advantage of your time as a student, and live on the cheap by availing yourself of as many student discounts as possible.
4. Make sure to not lose sight of your career while studying.
Even though immersing yourself in the academic world can be fun, allowing you to put off the responsibilities that many career workers have, be sure to keep an eye on your future career. If you can make the time for it, netting an internship or two while you are studying can go a long way in developing contacts for future networking. This way, you’ll be applying the skills you’re learning in school to real world work experiences. Moreover, you’ll also have more of an edge once you do graduate and enter the workforce.
Although many say that going back to school during the recession isn’t the best way to avoid the job market slump, if you play your cards right, saving money while working on future career prospects, you’ll come out of it all with a strengthened resume and greater education.
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Raine Parker, regularly writes on the topics of online accounting degree. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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