Everyone either attending college, or parents of future college students, always worry about the same thing: the bill. Thankfully, there are plenty of cheap, college tuition tips you can use to lower the total cost of school.
Use these easy college tuition tips to save money while attending college.
Take Advanced Placement (AP) Classes
Use AP credits to earn college credit early.
A common way students try to reduce tuition costs is by taking AP classes in high school. The benefits of doing so are:
- Getting you ready for college-level coursework
- Earning transferrable credits
The key to earning those credits is taking and scoring well on the corresponding AP exams. However, if you put in the hard work and score well, those AP credits will eliminate the need to take various classes early on. By skipping those classes, you save money by not having to pay to take them.
Apply For Grants And Scholarships
Start applying for every free dollar of money you can.
While in high school, two of the best money options available for paying college tuition are:
This “free money” is valuable to every student because, unlike loans, it doesn’t have to be paid back. Therefore, the more grant and scholarship money you can secure, the less need you’ll have for federal loans.
What’s even better is that you can keep looking for free money while in college. There’s no specific cutoff for the process itself. Keep hunting for funds even if you’re a year or two away from college graduation.
Places to look for this money include:
- Honor Societies
Don’t Pay With Credit Cards
Don’t fall into the trap of paying tuition with credit.
It’s tempting to put everything on a card during college. The credit card companies count on that temptation. However, you will only put yourself into debt and be hit with ridiculously high-interest rates and other fees.
Don’t be afraid to use a credit card for minor purchases to build a credit history, or in the case of an unexpected emergency. Outside of that, keep within your borrowing limit and don’t slap tuition bills onto them.
Consider CLEP Exams
CLEP exams are another great way to earn early college credits.
CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) offers 34 specific exams in various subjects that you can take. The idea is that these exams cover many intro-level college course credits.
If you take one of these exams and pass it, you’ve basically tested out of having to take the corresponding college course. If you pass a CLEP exam, you can earn at least 3 college credits at nearly 3,000 corresponding schools.
The more credits you can earn before entering college, the less you’ll have to ultimately pay. It’s a win-win situation, especially for subjects you are already very well-versed in.
Consider Community College Or In-State Schools
Community college is great to help save money on basic courses.
Community college is a cost-effective way of earning intro-level credits for a significantly lower price. Lots of students will do their first 1-2 years at a local community college to get those prerequisites finished up.
If you want to get into your dream school but don’t want to pay dream school tuition, then community college is a great way to shrink that bill. Also, take a look at your in-state college and university options. State residents receive a significant discount to attend those schools.
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