10 Ways to Reduce College Costs

College is expensive. StudentAdvisor is here to help!

Here are 10 Ways to Reduce College Tuition Costs:

1. MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS. Most colleges and universities offer merit or non need-based scholarships to academically talented students. Students need to check with each school they are interested in for the criteria for merit scholarships. The National Merit Scholarship Program awards scholarships to students based upon academic merit. The awards can be applied to any college or university to meet educational expenses at that school.

2. ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS. Many schools offer scholarships to athletically talented students. Parents and students should be careful to weigh the benefits of an athletic scholarship against the demands of this type of award. If the student is serious about pursuing throughout all four years of school, then this may be a good option. If a student’s grades drop or they get into trouble, they could possibly get kicked off the sports team or lose their scholarship – just something to think about.

3. SPECIFIC GRANTS/SCHOLARSHIPS. Some colleges and universities offer special grants or scholarships to students with particular talents – including areas like music, journalism, and drama.

4. ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIPS. Many states offer scholarship assistance to academically talented students. Students should obtain the eligibility criteria from their state’s education office.

5. STATE SCHOOLS. State colleges or universities charges lower fees to state residents. Since public institutions are subsidized by state revenues, their tuition costs are lower than private schools’ costs. You should consider state schools in your college selection process. Cost is definitely a factor when considering college, but students should not base their choice on cost alone.

6. COMMUNITY COLLEGES. Some students choose to attend a community college for one or two years, and then transfer to a four-year school. Tuition costs are substantially lower at community colleges than at four-year institutions. This way, you can save money the first two years with the community college’s tuition, then transfer to a four-year school.

7. HOUSING. Many schools provide lists of housing opportunities that provide free room and board to students in exchange for a certain number of hours of work each week.

8. COMMUTING. Commuting is another way for students to reduce college costs. A student living at home can save as much as $6,000 per year. However, commuting will mean that you need to have a reliable vehicle and gas money available.

9. CO-OPS. Cooperative education programs allow students to alternate between working full time and studying full time. This type of employment program is not based upon financial need, and students can earn as much as $7,000 per year.

10. CREDITS. Another way to reduce college costs is to take fewer credits. Students should find out their school’s policy regarding the Advanced Placement Program (APP), the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), and the Provenience Examination Program (PEP). Under these programs, a student takes an examination in a particular subject and, if the score is high enough, receives college credit.

For more ways to save on your child’s higher education, check out StudentAdvisor’s Parent’s Survival Guide.

We know there are more ways to cut college tuition costs. Please share your strategy to cut college costs.

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