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How to save money when going back to school

How to save money when going back to school

Going back to school gives you the chance to expand your network and grow personally and professionally. Unfortunately, advanced degrees also mean new supplies and tuition payments. Whether you're a parent with kids returning to school or an adult learner like those at New England College of Business, thinking ahead can help you save money as you pay for your education.

With proper planning and these quick tips, you can save more money than you think on your back-to-school shopping.

Shop in your own home.

A great way to avoid overspending on clothes and school supplies is to find and use what you already have. Make a list of the items you find and bring it along when you go shopping to avoid buying the same thing twice.

Create a budget, and stick to it.

Once you've discovered the items you still need, create a budget and stick to it. If possible, track your budget in an excel spreadsheet or consider downloading a free budgeting app to keep track of your funds at the touch of a button.

Reduce your textbook costs.

Despite what you may think, there are plenty of ways your school can help you out financially, both in the short-term and long-term. For starters, New England College of Business minimizes the use of textbooks in the classroom, allowing you to save some or all of the estimated $1,200 students spend each year on books. Buy your books at a more affordable price by using social networks, websites, and student groups to connect with classmates who may be getting rid of books you need. Most books are also available in e-versions for a reduced price.

Explore your financial aid and scholarship options.

To reduce hefty tuition costs, check out your school's scholarship and financial aid options. You might be eligible for a merit scholarship or a professional development scholarship, offered by students employed by one of New England College of Business's corporate partners, among others. Your school's financial aid office will most likely provide a wealth of information on saving for tuition and applying for financial aid and student loan services. New England College of Business's Financial Aid TV provides short clips to simplify the process of applying for financial aid.

Keep in mind that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You're going to school for a reason, and should never underestimate the value of your degree. In a recent survey, 97 percent of NECB graduates reported that they have performed better at their current job as a result of their education, and 45 percent of graduates said they were promoted or were given greater responsibilities as a result of their education.

What motivated you to invest in your education? Share with us on Twitter @NECBedu or post on our Facebook or LinkedIn pages!

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