(PRWEB) August 19, 2016 Back-to-school season, and its financial outlays, impact more than students in need of pencils and notebooks. As nontraditional students make up a growing portion of the college-student population, these students must carefully consider their back-to-college financial options, says Kevin Gallegos, vice president of Phoenix operations for Freedom Financial Network (FFN) . Recent data show that nearly three-quarters of all college students have at least one nontraditional characteristic: they are financially independent, have a dependent of their own, did not go straight from secondary school to college, or perhaps most commonly are working while they attend school, Gallegos says. Freedom Financial Network often encounters these students a bit later in life, when they need help to get out of debt , especially credit card debt. But the best way to avoid that problem is to avoid excessive debt in the first place. While several debt negotiation programs can help people regain their freedom from debt, student loan debt is notoriously difficult to eliminate. Freedom Financial Network offers these 10 tips for minimizing education-related expenses when people return to college: 1.Link work and college. Some people may be able to reduce their tuition bill by seeking employment that offers a tuition reimbursement program. In some cases, you might have to put off school for a semester or a year to meet a minimum employment period, Gallegos says. dig thisThis can be worth it if waiting a year means that you save tens of thousands of dollars in the long run. Several national companies, such as Starbucks and Chipotle, pay for or reimburse employees for courses at online colleges, so that workers can more easily earn degrees. 2.Look for colleges that charge no tuition.
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Research the competition. Regardless of whether you are accepting or declining the offer, be sure to do so both verbally and in writing. “It may be time off, flexibility about where you work, autonomy or ownership over a particular area, it may be your title — whatever has a perceived value to you,” says Joyce Gioia, president of the Herman Group, a think tank of management consultants and futurists. Since most of us are not regularly engaged in negotiations of any kind, you might want to take some pointers about how to successfully negotiate from expert Stuart Diamond, a Harvard Law School graduate who teaches negotiation tactics and strategies to students and Fortune 500 executives at The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Don’t start the negotiation process over the phone, or worse, over email. Those who are unemployed, or whose current job seems shaky, have seen their bargaining power further reduced. But it’s also possible that you haven’t yet built up the trust required to make him feel comfortable with that arrangement. Then ladder some searches on the website of the U.S.