PORTSMOUTH – Cameron Strukel saved so much money transferring to Great Bay Community College, he treated himself to a two-week summer vacation.
Strukel, 19 of Exeter, begins classes this fall at Great Bay, after transferring from Colorado State University, where he enrolled last fall as a freshman and spent $48,000 for one year of tuition, fees, room, board and other expenses. He estimates he will spend less than one-fifth that amount this year at Great Bay.
“I had a great time in Colorado, but after one year I just couldn’t justify the amount of money I was spending,” he said. “I decided to come home.”
He’s saving so much money enrolling at Great Bay, he traveled to India this summer to visit his best friend from Colorado State. “Enrolling at Great Bay makes so much sense, but it means I am leaving a lot of friends behind, which is sad. But with the money I was able to save, I decided to spend $2,000 on a round-trip ticket and $500 spending cash to visit my best friend in India. It was one of the most remarkable two weeks I have had in my life.”
Strukel majored in business at Colorado. He plans to amass as many credits as quickly as he can before transferring to the University of New Hampshire to pursue a degree in business administration with a focus on computer information systems. His goal is completing his education without student debt, and Great Bay is key to that outcome.
“I’m trying to avoid front-loaded student loans. Avoiding student loans is essential if you want to build wealth,” he said. “I am planning to do as many credits as I can at Great Bay until I transfer to UNH, while saving money on tuition and fees.”
He has signed up for 34 credits in the fall semester at Great Bay and may add more. He hopes to pack in as many credits in the spring semester as well. If he does, he figures his tuition bill for the year will be about $8,000. That’s $40,000 less than he spent to go to school in Colorado – more than enough to justify his trip to India to visit his friend.
“After realizing it would cost just under one-fifth to go Great Bay as it would to go to Colorado State, I knew I’d be coming home to Great Bay,” he said.