I am currently an animation student who has taken the "affordable" route. I started in Community College and then Transferred to a University for my last two years and I have to say it was the best decision I made, especially because I feel a lot of the teachers at the Community College care more about the students then the University. What ended up happening is I found some fantastic professors at community college that really helped me hone my skill and become good at animation, then when I transferred I was actually ahead of my of the students in my class, and so with that I was able to become top of the class and make some great connections with the professors there who have now offered me internships and work. I dont have my bachelors yet, I do have my associates and I swear by this process.
I also agree with Alice but she forgot to mention the most important book of all "The Animators Survial Kit" Also there are some great character design books written by Tom Bancroft you should check out. Otherwise just keep drawing, drawing is a necessity for both 3D and 2D in my opinion. Nowadays the two are blended more frequently then we realize, for "Brave" Pixar was doing Pencil Tests. Speaking of Pixar if you are interested in 3D animation their Internship Age Cap is 25 I believe, but not to worry companies like Cartoon Network Require a minimum age of 25 for there Internship.
If you are just getting started check out community colleges in your area. Speak to the head of the Animation Department if they have one, they will get you on the right track. Draw everyday, start with maybe a page a day of just drawing things in your home, move up to 2 or 3 when you feel comfortable drawing objects realistically work on people, on the train in restaurants just random people, if you can sit in on a life drawing class great. I know my university has free life drawing for artists every now and then. Once you are comfortable drawing people turn them into characters, exaggerate their features, give them a backstory.
My little tips from an Animator currently in school. It is a fun career filled with fun people.
If anyone reading this or the poster has any questions regarding animation schools I have done a fair amount of research on them both affordable and non-affordable routes. Also if you live in the Chicagoland area I know a lot about the schools and intenrships out here!
P.S. to be a true animator you need an awful Hawaiian Shirt.
A Cartoonist is just a lazy Animator.