Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ways to Reduce Tuition Costs

By Velida Alemic

With tuition costs increasing and financial aid decreasing, many students are worried about paying for their degree. Fortunately there are many alternatives to paying for your tuition.

One way is to accelerate your degree; it is very possible for students to get a bachelor degree in three rather than four years. By taking an addition class each semester and taking a few classes at nearby community colleges over the summer, it can be achieved if you are willing to work hard.

Be a transfer student. Spending a year or two at a much cheaper community college then transferring to an elite school is a good way to save money and still earn a prestigious diploma.

Lock in a single tuition rate for all four years. The price you pay your freshmen year is guaranteed until you graduate. Not every college allows students to lock in tuition rates but there are several including Pace University in New York and Baylor University in Texas.

Get a head start! Taking AP courses in high school saves hundreds and hundreds of dollars. I know personally I took two classes of AP biology in high school and earned 8 credits for it. It only cost me $800 but at SU it would have cost me almost $8,000. I know students who took so many AP courses in high school that they began their college career as a sophomore, which saves them a whole year of tuition costs.

Search for scholarships. There are thousands of scholarships available to students who are willing to put in the effort to find them. Start with local scholarships and move on to national scholarships by searching the web.

If you are willing to put forth an effort and be smart about the choices you make, there are plenty of ways to reduce your tuition costs!


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