How to Plan Your Studies on a Budget

Studying is one of the tried-and-tested paths to a career that can be incredibly fulfilling — and well-paid — for the entirety of your life. It’s little wonder that so many young people choose to study after completing high school, though it’s also a difficult choice to make for many across the US, due to concerns around money.

In this short guide, we’ll look at how you can plan your studies so that you’re able to save cash and efficiently qualify for jobs in your given field that’ll pay you a wage to repay your student debt quickly and effectively.

Working and Studying

One of the routes that many young people choose to go down is a combination of study and work. With part-time or flexible work — including freelance and ‘gig economy’ shifts — students can make ends meet at the same time as they study for their chosen degree.

This is sometimes regarded as a difficult dual life to manage, and it indeed takes some organizational skills and motivation to succeed. But, for the majority of students in the US, working while studying is an excellent way to keep one’s finances healthy while at university.


Another path to studying at university, and one taken by those with generous parents, or those who might be called ‘mature students’, is to use savings to pay for their course. If you’re able to save up the cash required to get onto a course without working, you’ll be able to concentrate all your energies into your studies, bypassing part-time work.

The downside to this is that degrees can be incredibly expensive, and you should always look to get a loan to support your studies as well as using what savings you have to make your life comfortable as you learn new skills.

Scholarships and Grants

As you are applying for a university course, you’ll notice hundreds — thousands, even — of scholarships, grants and bursaries that have been created to help students who might struggle to otherwise fund their studies.

This provision, which you’ll be able to research more online, can help you get onto a course that you might otherwise find impossible to fund. If you’re an exceptional student or you qualify for scholarships due to your background, this is a sensible and useful route to take into education.

Credit Transfers

A high proportion of those who study at a university or college choose to return to study a new course over the duration of their careers. These decisions are often made as a result of slowly finding one’s passion, and deciding to invest again in the skills required to work in the vocation of their choosing

A handy mechanism for such people is the Excelsior College transfer credits program, which helps you adjust your new degree around the credits you’ve already earned across other educational institutions. This can serve to reduce your costs when studying a new degree.

Use these tips to bring down the cost of your next course of study in the US or abroad.