4 ways to cut college housing costs

Work it off
3 of 6

Resident advisers -- upper class students who supervise those living in dorms and on-campus housing -- are frequently given free housing in exchange for a few hours of service a week.

"Some institutions pay just room, some pay room and board, some pay both and a stipend," says Anthony DeSantis, director of housing at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The drawback is that if the job pays well enough, it could subtract from the financial aid package. According to the Department of Education, the maximum amount students can earn without losing financial aid is $4,500 for the 2010-2011 school year. For every dollar earned above that mark, students will lose 50 cents in aid, starting with their need-based scholarships and grants. To reduce the cost of housing, students who heavily rely on financial aid might investigate federal work-study positions that won't detract from financial aid.




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