How to get a degree cheaper

Want a degree and all the amazing career options that come with it? Don't want to get yourself into a massive pile of debt? Well you’ve come to the right place. Tuition fees can give you a small heart attack when you see them for the first time but they don’t always have to. The Mix lets you know how to get a degree for less money.

A young man is talking to his friends. He wants to get his degree cheaper. This is a wide-angle image.

Live with your parents

There’s a universal truth known to students all around the world – A degree aren’t cheap. One of the quickest ways to cut down the expenses is to stop paying rent a.k.a room with the parents. In fact, almost a quarter of students are choosing this option to help save for when they’ve finally worn the cap and gown and can start making their way out of debt.

The pros:

  • Degrees are hard, and having your family around usually helps to ground you. That, and the cooked meals and laundry service…

The cons:

  • Absolutely EVERYBODY will ask you, “Don’t you think you’re missing out on, you know, the whole university experience?”
  • Learning to live by yourself is a life skill that you’re gonna need to learn at some point
  • You won’t be able to bring people back to yours for parties/casual sex

If you’re considering taking the plunge, then read our article on how to live with your parents for some survival tips.

Work part-time, do a part-time course

How to get a degree and make it cost less? Hustle hard. Yes it may take a bit longer, but choosing to do your degree part-time means you can work on the side and save some serious cash. Lots of top universities offer part-time options. This includes evening lectures and seminars so you don’t have to miss work.

The pros:

  • You’ll be getting real, hands-on work experience alongside an academic qualification.
  • You can earn money as you go, meaning less or no debt.
  • Your company may even offer to pay some of your degree costs, if they’re nice like that.

The cons:

  • It’ll take longer to finish your degree. We’re talking at least four years.
  • You’ll probably have to use a lot of your leave from work to revise or go to exams.
  • If you’re 18-21, the friends on your course are likely to be older than you.

To help you get an idea of what it’ll be like, read Amy’s real life story about how she got her degree part-time. Once you’re done with that, you can get some advice on part-time jobs and what rights you’re entitled to.

Get an online degree

When you consider the fact that you can find the person you spend the rest of your life with over the internet, it’s not difficult to imagine that you can get just about any qualification online. This means that you could theoretically do your undergraduate degree without even leaving the house. Like, ever. Though we do suggest you go out occasionally for food and stuff, just so you don’t morph into Bella trying to get over Edward in Twilight

Good news is that lots of places now offer online degrees. They’ll send you virtual learning guides and you’ll be able to live-chat with your personal tutor online. For example, you can get a free degree from the Open University, which offers everything from Business Administration to Education degrees.

The pros:

  • You don’t have to spend money on student accom.
  • You can get your degree while holding down a full-time job.
  • It’s a great alternative if you’re shy and don’t like the idea of sitting in a packed lecture hall.

The cons:

  • It’s hard to work out which courses are taken seriously, both academically and by future employers.
  • Potential employers may worry you’re not socially skilled if you chose to study online.
  • Some people learn better face-to-face rather than through a screen. You may not know it now, but you could be one of them, which will make it hard to be motivated online.

For more info, read our article about online degrees to learn more about their pros and cons.

Easiest degrees

OK, so… you didn’t hear this from us, but some degrees are just easier than others. Just ask an astrophysicist, or a medical student. On the other hand, what might be considered the easiest degrees by one person, might not suit another person’s skills. We definitely don’t recommend making your educational choices based solely on how to do the least amount of work at uni. On top of that, you should totally be considering potential career options when you’re choosing your degree, but it is worth thinking about whether the degree plays to your strengths. Whilst it won’t make it any cheaper to attend, it will mean the costs feel more like money well spent.

Do you love to read? An English literature degree might be just the ticket. If you don’t, it’s highly likely you’ll find yourself snowed under by your reading list quicker than you can say, ‘To be, or not to be.

’Media studies, Human Resources or Social Work often comes up as ‘easy degree’ choices. But a majority of students will find that if they want to work in any of those industries it can be a great way in. Plus, it might not be so easy if you aren’t passionate about it (social work is no picnic). Whatever you choose, make sure having an ‘easy’ major (subject you study for your degree) isn’t your only search criteria.

Scottish? Get your degree in Scotland

Scottish students don’t even have to google ‘How to get a degree cheaper’ because residents of Scotland still get FREE degrees. So, if you’re Scottish, and you’re looking to save money on your degree, stay exactly where you are.

The pros:

  • FREE degree!
  • You get to stay near-ish home

The cons:

  • If you’re considering studying elsewhere in the UK, it’ll cost you about £27,000 in fees – that’s enough to keep a lot of people rooted even if they really really wanna get out.
  • Being limited to just Scottish universities could limit the variety of courses to pic

If you’re still not sure how to get a degree and where to go for higher education, give us a call on 0808 808 4994. We can guide you to the best places for expert support.

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By Nishika Melwani

Updated on 24-Mar-2022