I may or may not have posted about this already and might again in the future. Ready yourself for that reality.
When I first decided I want to study, I went onto the website of the university that has long-distance learning options and looked at the degree that I figured would be a good fit. Looked at what it might cost, looked at my salary, saw that it’s kinda do-able with a squeeze and jumped right in.
Then I found out that you need application money, and a bulk amount up front called registration fees. Yes, this covers about half of each module you take, meaning it varies, it also varies depending on your choice in degree… discriminate much?? Anyway, lucky for me I have gracious friends who donated cash towards my future. I call it an investment. Even with that generous donation, it is still tough to have the money for each semester.
HINT: If you work full time and study part time (because you are a grown ass person who’s folks don’t pay for your shit), do yourself a favour and transfer a portion of your salary to the university account every month. This way when the new semester swings around you aren’t looking for the best corners to strut your stuff because you gotta put yourself through school. In all honesty, strippers do make a lot of money but if you work during the day and strip at night when do you study?
Another hidden cost which should be obvious and not able to bite you in the ass but it does because you don’t think about it (breathe) is text book costs. Doesn’t matter what you study, there will be prescribed text books that you need in order to pass your modules. Budget for those, overstate the costs so that you aren’t caught with your pants down. (Who started that saying anyway? And why the heck did the person have their pants down? Also, how long does it take to pull said pants up if you were caught with them down?)
HINT: Find a pre-loved text book place. Facebook is a good place for this kinda stuff. Amazon also has some second-hand books but they are kinda more expensive. Alternatively, find someone who studied what you are studying now and along with making new friends or networking, ask them if they have the text book you need. Definitely save for this also, create a TEXTBOOKS savings account that you can transfer a portion of you salary into.
Lastly, for now… Tutoring, unfortunately this is not one you can always know you will need and also, not every student needs tutelage just like not every degree is equally difficult for each student. But I would advise that if you are doing a BCom BSc or some form of Maths/Engineering degree, budget for tutelage. Rather go to a tutor and pay some money to them than fail the module, pay double for it AND then pay for additional tutelage also.
HINT: Best thing I have realised is to just find a job in your chosen field of study. Nothing teaches you faster than on the job training. Unfortunately there are not many careers that offer some form of clerkship/internship that you can do while studying. I find that SAICA clerkships are brilliant as you are surrounded by clerks who are at different levels of studying and they all have notes and wisdom that you could get from them. All you gots ta do is ask!
Anything that I missed?