Category Archives: College Money

20 Ways to Save On Your Kids’ College Education

I had zero clue about number 12! So glad I read! 20 Ways to Save on Your Kids' College Education

College is potentially the most expensive line item you will ever pay for in the name of parenthood. As the cost of education balloons, you may be wondering what the heck you can do to stop it.

While you can’t take on the entire higher education industry solo, there are some things you can do to make sure you’re limiting how much money flies out of your own pocketbook. Today we’ll cover twenty ways to save on your kids’ college education depending on which stage of life they are in. To make it easier to find the info you need based on where you are in the college process, here are the topics we’ll be tackling:

What You Can Do While They’re Young

What You Should Do When Your Child is Picking a School

Applying for Aid

Smart Money Decisions at School

While They’re Young


open a 529 account for your childs college education

  1. Open a 529 account.

    If you are already fully funding your retirement accounts, a 529 account can be a great vehicle to save for your child’s education. You contribute with money you have left over after taxes, but your savings grows with interest tax-free, and will not be taxable at the federal level when you withdraw the money as long as you use it for your child’s education.

    Different states have different plans, and in some cases you can purchase across state lines. Do some research to find the best available plan for your situation.

  2. Encourage their interests, hobbies and activities.

    I was talking with a talented financial planner a while ago about college savings. His biggest advice? It wasn’t 529s…because most people aren’t even funding their retirement accounts to the max.

    Instead, he was big on encouraging participation in activities and hobbies. Those will be the things that earn your kid scholarships and get them accepted into a school in the first place.

    We collectively own a looming student loan bubble here in America. We have no idea when that’s going to pop, or what college prices or funding will look like after it does. It’s not impossible that the college financing landscape will change dramatically between what it looks like today and what it looks like when America’s youngest children hit the halls of scholarship.

  3. Teach them how to budget.

    When your child is at college, they may still be relying on the bank of Mom(s) and/or Dad(s). Even if you don’t plan on providing them with a monthly stipend, you’d be doing them a huge favor by teaching them to budget now while they’re still under your roof. It will save everyone involved some cash as it will reduce overspending and potential money leaks.

  4. Take advantage of K-12 incentive programs.

    Some schools offer incentive programs to students just for graduating. For example, Pittsburgh Public Schools has the Pittsburgh Promise which gives students who entered Kindergarten in 2015 or earlier $30,000 for college as long as they graduate high school and are admitted to an accredited institution. If you’re weighing where you want to send your kids to school, incentive programs like these can be what draws the final straw.

    You should be aware, though, that these programs are sometimes subject to change. For example, the classes of 2012-2016 were awarded $40,000 under the Pittsburgh Promise, and there is no guarantee of college monies for those who enter Kindergarten in 2016 or later.

Before Deciding on a School


Pick a college for the best ROI and least debt.

  1. Public vs Private Tuition.

    In general, state schools or public schools tend to have lower tuition rates than private schools. The price difference can be dramatic, and there’s a ton of research out there demonstrating that, over the course of your career, it doesn’t typically matter where your degree came from in terms of salary.

  2. Don’t write off the Ivy League as “too expensive.”

    Ivy League schools, on the other hand, tend to have a high sticker price but generous financial aid thanks to numerous endowments. In these cases, financial aid is sometimes extended to families who make six figures, which could bring attendance costs below that of private, or sometimes even public, universities.

    The Ivy League is the one exception to that salary rule, too—if you’re a minority. While white students don’t see salary bumps thanks to attendance at an Ivy League school if they’re not low-income or first generation graduates, black and Hispanic students do.

  3. Visit the Financial Aid Office on tours.

    You can get a good feel for how much school-sponsored financial aid your child will be able to get simply by visiting the financial aid office on your initial tour of the school.

    For example, the financial aid office at the University of Pittsburgh, perpetually ranked as one of and often the most expensive public school in the country, didn’t even have a binder with scholarship opportunities to look over as of a few years ago. Not only is it notoriously expensive, but it’s also notoriously short on financial aid for its students.

    While Pitt is a fantastic place to get an education, you can find private institutions that charge less and offer more aid. Pitt is just one example, though. Be sure to make the financial aid office a priority when you’re visiting any campus.

  1. Look at foreign options.

    Does your kid want to study abroad? You might want to encourage them to do it for four years. There’s a small movement of students who are relocating to Europe for university, and it’s not just because the idea of studying in France is incredibly romantic.

    Rather, it’s that the cost of tuition abroad can be substantially cheaper. You do have to consider each country and school independently, though. In France, tuition can be had at public universities for as low as $1,000 or less per year. If you look at somewhere like Sweden, however, the costs jump up closer to that of the average American public university.

  2. Community College for the first two years.

    Your student may turn up their nose at this option, but take the time to go over the numbers with them and they may change their mind. If you are a Pell Grant recipient, community college can almost always be fully funded without you dropping a penny out of pocket. Even if you’re not receiving federal grants, one or two scholarships could knock out all of your costs.

    On top of that, your student can stay at home, saving on massive room and board fees. By the time they transfer when they’re a junior, they won’t be subject to the rule many colleges have for their freshman: you must live on-campus in our expensive housing.

    Just make sure your child knows which school they want to go to after the initial two years are up as you want to ensure their credits will actually transfer.

Apply for Aid


Apply for financial aid with Citizen's FAFSA application.

  1. Apply for the FAFSA.

    The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the gateway to almost all other financial aid. It can get you Pell grants (which you never have to pay back,) work-study opportunities, and access to federal student loans (which you do have to pay back.) Schools require the FAFSA to be filled out before awarding your child with school-sponsored aid.

    Filling out the FAFSA can be overwhelming. You will need your tax data as the parent or guardian from the prior-prior tax year. So for the 2017-18 school year, you will need your 2015 return. You can fill the application out for free on the government’s site, but as mentioned, it can be a cumbersome process with little guidance.

    If you want a simpler way to fill out the FAFSA with easy-to-understand guidance, there is help. Citizen.co provides a free and intuitive FAFSA application that makes the whole process less of a headache.

    If you think you make too much money for the FAFSA, apply anyways. The worst that can happen is that you get zero aid. But in years past, there has been money leftover because not enough families applied.

    Even if you don’t qualify for grants, you’re still likely to qualify for Federal loans, which are more often than not infinitely more desirable than the loans you’ll find in the private sector. Besides, if you use Citizen, applying is going to be easier than you anticipated.

*Note: Be wary of services that charge you a fee to complete the FAFSA. While paid preparers who disclose that there is free help available are operating within the law, those who charge you a fee simply to file should be scrutinized carefully as there are scams out there.

  1. Encourage work-study opportunities.

    On top of Pell grants, another way to fund college is through work-study, which will also be a result on your child’s FAFSA. The job they are offered will either be at the school or somewhere off campus, and they can request that their paychecks be applied directly to their tuition and fees.

    Studies show that working on-campus actually improves students’ grades. (The same is not true for off-campus positions.) That means that not only will your child be earning a portion of their keep while at school, but they’re also likely to perform better academically while they’re there.

  2. Apply for state grants.

    After you’ve filled out the FAFSA with Citizen, look to your state’s department of higher education. They typically award grants as well, and they can easily save you four figures per year.

  3. Apply for scholarships.

    Scholarships are another area where not enough people apply. This is money you will never have to pay back, yet many go unawarded each year for lack of applicants. To find scholarships appropriate for your child, you can check both obvious and bizarre places. Get started by encouraging them to write a scholarship resume.

  4. Apply for special allowances through DPW.

    If you come from a low-income household, check with your state’s Department of Public Welfare to see if they offer any special allowances (SPALs) for students. For example, in Pennsylvania eligible students can get assistance paying for their books through a DPW SPAL.

  5. Consider potential loan repayment options.

    If your student has applied for the FAFSA through Citizen, applied for scholarships and state grants, exhausted SPALs and still doesn’t have enough money for college, it may be time to look at student loans.

    Hopefully they’ve been offered options through the Federal government. I use the word hopefully because these loans tend to have a variety of options for repayment that can be advantageous—as long as you have the right kind of loan and payment plan.

    For example, if they want to enroll in Public Service Loan Forgiveness, where their loans will be forgiven after making minimum payments for ten years, they will have to have Direct subsidized or unsubsidized loans, or Direct consolidated loans. If you are the one applying for loans and you work in the public service sector, you may qualify for this program, too if you have Direct PLUS loans.

    The Revised Pay as You Earn program (REPAYE) requires students to have any of the Direct loan products, though parents will not qualify with PLUS loans. Students can also qualify with any of the following types of loans as long as they are consolidated:

    -Federal Perkins Loan
    -FFEL Consolidation Loan that wasn’t used to pay off a parent loan
    -FFEL Loans made to graduate/professional students
    -Subsidized or Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans

    There are several other programs, and each one requires you to not only have a specific type of loan, but to be on a specific type of payment plan, as well. You can learn more at the Federal Student Aid website.

Once They’re Accepted


National program to get student loans forgiven

  1. Carefully consider meal plan options.

    You don’t want to overspend on food, but you don’t want your child to go hungry while they’re away at college, either. Carefully consider meal plan options, which often include some combination of meal credits, “dollars” to be spent at school-sponsored restaurants and cafeterias, and specific days of the week allotted for dining. Often, credits cannot be carried over from one semester to the next.

    If you buy a big meal plan, encourage your student not to eat outside of the school’s dining halls very often—if at all.

    If you know they’re going to anyways, purchasing a smaller meal plan may be a smart idea as you let them manage the rest of their food budget on their own.

  1. Consider meal plans & on-campus housing vs cooking for themselves & off-campus housing.

    Housing and meal plans make up a surprising portion of college costs. Some schools will not allow freshmen to live off campus. However, if your child’s school does, look at nearby off-campus housing options that might allow them to cook at home. Even if this isn’t an option as a freshman, it may be an option a little later as they work their way into upper classmanship.

  2. Discourage buying from the bookstore directly.

    Unless it is absolutely unavoidable, discourage your student from purchasing through their campus bookstore. Prices are marked up beyond outrageous, and there are other options.

    We have found the best value to be purchasing physical, used textbooks outside of the bookstore and then reselling them at the end of the semester, but you can also rent physical or eTextbooks for a comparatively low price.

    If the book has been printed as a special edition just for your child’s campus or was written by their professor, have them check out Craigslist. It’s likely that students who took the class last semester are looking to unload their copies, and there’s no one who is going to buy them save other kids on campus—like your child.

  1. Encourage use of library reserve.

    One of the best-kept secrets at college libraries is the reserve section. In it, your child will be able to find a copy of every single required text the school currently has issued. The catch? There’s only one copy, and you can’t take it outside of the reserve area.

    If they only need the text to do some light homework, and there’s not a lot of competition for that single copy, they can go to the library and use it there without paying a cent.
    If they need easier access to it, they can take a photo of certain pages on their smartphones for free. Many libraries will allow you to copy pages from the text, but this will almost always cost money.

    Just don’t have them tell too many of their classmates about it, or they may have trouble getting their hands on that psych book the day before midterms.

  1. Research professor reviews to increase odds of passing.

    Just as we’ve all had that one favorite teacher who impacted our lives in momentously positive ways, we’ve all had that one professor who was an absolute nightmare. They didn’t grade things until the very end of the semester, so you never knew where you stood with course material. They rambled on about their cat for an hour instead of teaching any formulaic chemistry. Sometimes, they didn’t even have a firm enough grasp of the subject matter to be teaching it themselves.

    It can be difficult to pass a course in this type of environment, and the more often your kid has to retake a course, the more money their education is going to cost. Have them be smart about which section of a course they enroll in by having them research professors prior to registering.

 

Do you have any tips to save on your child’s education? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!

 

*This post is in collaboration with Citizen.*

The Student’s Guide to Being Frugal

Great for college students. The Student's Guide to Being Frugal.

If you’re a student or if you’ve ever been one in the past, you’re probably aware that it isn’t exactly the most luxurious lifestyle in the world. And while it does depend on each person’s background, most students are generally broke and looking to save as much money as possible at any potential opportunity.

The sad truth, however, is that most of us are not that good at saving money, and constantly being bombarded by shopping ads everywhere you look isn’t exactly helping this situation. I’ve been there, and I know how hard it is to save up when you’re living on your own and constantly have to worry about paying the rent and the huge amount of student loan debt you probably have going.

Over my years as a student, I’ve gained quite a bit of experience with saving money, through my own mistakes as well as the advice of other people, and today I want to share my advice with you. So without further ado, here are the five ways in which you can be more frugal as a student, and potentially save up a lot of money.

student budget

Avoid Credit

The easiest way to throw money down the drain is to commit to a credit card purchase that you’ll have to pay interest on. Don’t get me wrong, credit cards can be extremely useful in certain circumstances, but you should absolutely avoid making this your default way of paying for things. Interest can add up extremely quickly if you’re not careful, and you can completely unnecessarily lose a lot of money. So go for debit or cash, and save credit for emergencies – you’ll thank yourself later that you did.

Buy It Nice, or Buy It Twice

This age-old saying has way more truth to it than you might think. Why? Because cheap stuff breaks and stops working – end of story. Whenever you’re out to buy something that you want to last you a while, like a desk, a pair of headphones or even minuscule purchases like a simple notebook, don’t fall into the trap of buying the cheapest one. It’s the cheapest one for a good reason, a reason I already mentioned – it simply isn’t going to last. I’m not saying that you should buy expensive stuff just for the heck of it. I’m saying that you should be skeptical of cheap products and services.

Search for Deals

Whenever you see a deal that you can potentially take advantage of, take your phone out and make note of it. Search for deals online, collect coupons – anything you can do to get a discount that can save you money is worth doing. If you tend to shop online, use a ExpressVPN to see if you can get a better price on larger purchases if you change your IP (this actually works sometimes).

Student's guide to frugality

Want it or Need it?

Your “need” list should always hold priority over your “want” list, and when buying a product or paying for a certain service, it’s very important that you make this distinction. It’s perfectly okay to want something, just as long as you’re honest with yourself about why you’re buying it. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of making the “I need it” excuse, and once you do it’s very difficult to stop buying things that you could absolutely do without.

Keep Track of Expenses

This is perhaps the most crucial point on this list. Your income and all the monthly expenses that need to be taken care of should be written down, analyzed and calculated as studiously as possible. It’s incredibly easy to do this nowadays – all you need is an app like Google Sheets, although if you don’t want to fiddle around with a smartphone, a calculator and a piece of paper will do fine.

First, input all your fixed expenses: your bills, your rent, the stuff you know you will have to pay for each month – and deduct all that from your average monthly income. Every time you make a purchase, write it down, deduct it from the total. Being aware of how much money you have left at any given moment gives you a much better idea of how much you’re spending and whether you need to slow it down.

 

Adam Ferraresi writerAdam Ferraresi is 23 years old, but he first became interested in writing when he was in high school. Today he’s a successful web developer living in Dallas, Texas, and one of the most trusted writers at wefollowtech.com. In his free time, he’s an avid mountain climber and enjoys playing basketball with his friends.

Occupation-Based Student Loan Repayment Programs

Student loan repayment programs for doctors, nurses, vets, STEM majors, lawyers, educators and more!

Most people are aware that your student loans can be forgiven if you’re in a government position.  A while back I wrote about states, cities, and provinces that are willing to pay back your student loans for simply moving there.

Today I’ve got even more programs that will help you pay back that nasty debt.  Most of them are based on your occupation.  Some of them are pretty common.  Some of them are completely random.  Some of them only apply to certain states or geographic locations.  Some are national.

All of them are worth reviewing.  They could help you pay back a significant portion of your debt.

(These are all snippets…for full details of the program hit “more information” under each one as their may be additional qualifiers I do not mention.  You may or may not be eligible for the full payback amount as listed depending on your situation.)

National program to get student loans forgiven

Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness

Locality:  Federal/National

What it will pay back: Up to $17,500 on direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans & subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans.

Special Requirements:  Be a teacher in a low-income school district for 4-5 years

More Information

Work in education? You may be able to get your student loans cancelled!

Teacher Student Loan Cancellation

Special Requirements:  Hold on!  You don’t have to be a teacher for this one!  If you work in the educational field, odds are you qualify.  You have to work either in a field where there is a lack of qualified educators as determined by your state, in special education, OR in a school with low-income families.

Locality:  Federal/National

What it will pay back:  A discharge of up to 100% of your loan from the Federal Perkins Loan program.

More Information

uninsured lost obamacare

Association of American Medical Colleges Scholarships, Student Loan Repayment & Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Locality:  Various states across the country.

What it will pay back:  Varies. Some state programs grant scholarships while others provide student loan repayment or forgiveness.

Special Requirements:  Varies, but you will need a tie to a state in order to qualify for its program.

More Information

occupation based student loan repayment programs

NURSE Corps Student Loan Repayment Program

Locality:  Federal/National

What it will pay back:  60% of your loan balance over the course of two years, possibly 25% for a third year.

Special Requirements:  Must be an RN with you education completed. Must be working full-time at a designated eligible critical shortage facility.

More Information

occupation based student loan repayment

Pitt Law Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program

Locality:  University of Pittsburgh Law School graduates

What it will pay back:  An unknown-to-me sum towards your debt.

Special Requirements:  Must be a graduate of Pitt who is using their law degree in public service (or public service related to the welfare of children depending on the program.) Your income must be below 400% of the federal poverty level.

More Information

Pitt Law has two additional student loan repayment programs available.

A lot of other schools and states have programs for their law students. Do some research around your own!

Vetrinary Student Loan Repayment Programs

Arkansas Veterinary Student Loan Repayment

Locality:  The state of Arkansas

What it will pay back:  The balance due on your loans for five years.

Special requirements:  Get a job or internship within 90 days of your graduation, and stay employed in the field consecutively to get the maximum benefits for the full five years.

More Information

Programs for Veterinarians in Other States

Joining the Peace Corps could reduce your student loans.

Peace Corps Student Loan Deferment and Cancellation

Locality: National (You may serve outside of the US.)

What it will pay back:  Potential 15-70% cancellations on Perkins Loans. Deferment on several Federal Loans. Deferment on private loans vary from lender to lender.

Special Requirements:  Join Peace Corps and serve for at least two years.

More information

occupation based student loan repayment programs

New York State Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Program

Locality:  The state of NY

What it will pay back:  $6,500/year up to $26,000

Special Requirements:  Be a licensed social worker in New York state working in a critical human service areas in health, mental health, substance abuse, aging, HIV/AIDs, child welfare, or in an area with multilingual needs. You must work in an eligible county at 35+ hours per week.

More information

STEM Student Loan Forgiveness

North Dakota Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Occupations Student Loan Program

Locality:  The state of North Dakota

What it will pay back:  $1,500/year up to $6,000

Special Requirements:  Must be a North Dakota college graduate with a final GPA of 2.5 and have been working in your field for 12 months.

More information

Vermont used to have a very similar program that paid out a little bit more, but Vermont’s Student Loan STEM incentive program has sadly been discontinued.

 

While it’s really exciting if you can take advantage of any of these programs, be aware that money you receive to pay off your loans may be subject to taxes!

Cities that will Pay Your Student Loans

For this kind of money I'm definitely moving to a city that will pay my student loans!

Small town anywhere is dying.  A lack of young blood, not to mention highly-educated, innovative blood, is killing them.  People are moving on to bigger and better things in areas with higher populations.

Student loans are killing millennials.  The average grad carries more than $25,000 in debt if they took out loans, and that’s just the average.  Oh, and student loans don’t die.  They follow you forever and ever, even through most bankruptcies.

Innovative Communities Will Pay Off Your Student Loans–Just for Moving There

Some of these communities are seizing an opportunity to create solutions for both groups. They are offering to help repay student loans for graduates that establish their residences within their community’s boundaries.

Truly innovative problem solving, it presents real solutions to both parties.  Here are three of the major programs for cities that will pay your student loans that have already started or are deep into the works:

Kansas' Rural Opportunity Zones either pay off your student loans for you or allow you to skip out on state taxes.Kansas Rural Opportunity Zones Program

Location:  Kansas.  In any of these 71 counties.

Status:  Active

Requirements:  Establish residency in one of the above mentioned counties on/after July 1, 2011. Have outstanding student loans along with an associates, bachelors, or post-graduate degree. You must have lived outside of Kansas and made no more than $10,000 in Kansas income for the five years prior to establishing residency.

How much will they pay?:  Up to $15,000.

How it works:  The state pays 20%  of your student loan balance over the course of five years, up to $3,000 per year for a total of $15,000.  Payments will go directly to the lender. Keep in mind that any payments made to your lender will be taxable.

Where to apply:  Kansas Department of Commerce

Move to Niagara Falls, NY and they'll pay off your student loans. Live Niagara Falls Program

Location:  Niagara Falls, New York

Status:  Active.

Requirements:  Associates, bachelors or post-graduate degree.  They originally recruited at local colleges, but are open to other applicants from far-off places.  You must also move to the the city of Niagara Falls.

How much will they pay?:  Up to $7,000.

How it works:  You’ll get up to $3,500 from the city to pay your student loans over two years in the form of reimbursements.

Where to applyLiveNF website, which should be live again in February 2017.

Anyone who graduated in the past seven years can take advantage of Saskatchewan's Graduate Retention Program.Saskatchewan Graduate Retention Program

Location:  Anywhere in Saskatchewan, Canada

Status:  Active

Requirements:  You must have graduated from an approved program after January 1, 2010. That program must be equivalent to six months of full-time scholarship and must have rewarded you with a certificate, diploma, undergraduate degree, or journeypersons certification.  You must live in or move to Saskatchewan.

How much will they pay?:  $20,000 Lifetime max. You will receive up to $3,000 if you have a one-year certificate/journeyperson/diploma, up to $6,400 for a two-year certificate/diploma, up to $15,000 for a three-year undergrad degree, and up to $20,000 for a four-year undergrad degree.

How it works:  During the first four years, you get 10% of your tuition reimbursed to you as a nonrefundable tax credit, as long as you file your taxes in Saskatchewan.  For the next three years, you get 20%, up to the maximum amount for your certification/degree. If the credit is more than you owe in taxes, you can carry the credit over for up to ten years.

Where to apply:  Saskatchewan’s Graduate Retention Program

 

Didn’t find a program you like? There are occupation-based student loan repayment programs across the USA. Click here to check some of them out.


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Get Free Textbooks with a Special Allowance

 Erm, did someone say free textbooks? Doing this next semester.

When you’re trying to improve your situation, you come up against a lot of obstacles. Maybe you got into school to further your education, but, especially if you have children, you can’t afford to go without working–which conflicts with your class schedule.

You can combat this by applying for scholarships that will cover your costs above and beyond tuition.

After you have those scholarships, you have another major hindrance: textbooks. They’re crazy expensive, especially if you have a narcissistic professor who wrote their own and only publishes through the school. In a lot of situations, you can find ways to get textbooks for cheap, but sometimes the school bookstore is the only option.

If you’re truly struggling with money, there may be a way for you to get free textbooks. You may be able to get a special allowance (SPAL) through your state welfare office to get these costs covered.

How to Use a SPAL to Get Free Textbooks

In Pennsylvania, the Special Allowance Program (or SPAL) is available to those who are on food stamps or cash assistance. In order to qualify, you mus be willing or required to participate in an employment training program, including, but not necessarily limited to, college.

These SPALs can help pay for books, transportation and even qualification or certification tests.

If you do not live in Pennsylvania, that does not mean SPALs are not available. It just means that I’m not as familiar with the system in your state.

To get the SPAL forms you will need to go into your welfare office and talk to a case worker. Ask them for a Special Allowance packet, making sure you let them know why you are asking.

They will give you a packet of paperwork including some forms for your school to fill out and a job/career plan outline. There will be a couple of additional personal forms for you to fill out, too.

From here, you’ll want to take the forms to your school’s financial aid office. When they fill them out, make sure you also get a copy of your current class schedule and verification that the books and other materials you need are required to take each course.

Now you can mail in all the paperwork. If you’re approved, you will get the Special Allowance to use at your school’s bookstore for free textbooks. You must use it within 14 days of issuance, and then submit your receipt to the welfare office so they can verify that you used all the money for its intended purpose.

In that packet, you should have also received a monthly attendance worksheet. You will need your professors to verify that you are attending class by the 5th of each following month.

Say you’ve filled out the form for February. You will need to submit it to the welfare office by the 5th of March. Make sure you keep up on your paperwork or you could end up owing all that textbook money back.

Your experience may vary a little from the above. First of all, this is based off of personal research. I did not qualify for a SPAL when I was going to school, but you can bet I tried. Because free textbooks would have helped a lot.

Additionally, if you’re not in the state of Pennsylvania, the availability of special allowances may differ, or be nonexistent. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth researching, though. Free textbooks can save you hundreds or even more than $1,000 per semester–and that adds up.

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