I finally and officially earned my bachelor’s degree in January 1998. The road to that B.A. in English was a long one, both figuratively and literally. And, unlike a lot of college students then and now, I was lucky that I didn’t have to go into debt to do it.
I estimate that, over three and half years, I probably spent a minimum of $5,000 of my own funds to earn my B.A. as a part-time, non-traditional, transfer student at a public liberal arts college. I paid for my tuition, books, transportation, supplies, and occasional lunches. And, oh yeah, coffee and a donut in the morning before class (an old boyfriend from Way Back When scolded me about that).
How did I keep myself out of debt? Well, I'll admit it wasn't that easy. I do like nice things, and some of those nice things are pricey. But I managed to keep my personal expenses to a minimum. For example, I bought most of my clothes at Wal-Mart, bought school supplies at the dollar store, and used the college computers instead of buying one of my own.
I used a combination of resources to pay for my education expenses: wages from a part-time job, savings, and a very good tuition payment plan that let me spread my payments over ten months.