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7 Ways to Reduce the Cost of College


May 19, 2024


With the average sticker price of college ranging from $28,840-$60,420 (Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid) per student per year, it adds up to a lot of money for a family with multiple kids! That is why the best way to prepare for this cost is to start saving early. Another strategy is to reduce the cost of college. If your child is 0-5 years away from going to college that is the best time to explore ways to reduce the cost of college. Most of these strategies need to be activated before your student applies to college to be effective. By discussing options now, you can choose actions that will work best for your student, and having a plan will make picking a college more joyful for the whole family.

Below are 7 ways to reduce the cost of college:

1. College Credits in High School

Your student may be able to earn college credits by taking Advanced Placement Courses in high school. Your student could earn enough credits to be done with college in 3 years instead of 4.

2. Start at a Community College

The first two years of college are mostly satisfying core education requirements, which can be taken at a community college at a much lower cost than at a university. With careful planning, the student can then transfer to a 4-year college to complete their degree.

3. Regional Tuition Exchange Programs

Your student may be able to go to out-of-state college at a discounted price with tuition reciprocity. You will have to meet the criteria to qualify for this tuition-saving program. Click here to learn more.

4. Apply to Generous Schools

Some schools are more generous than others. Choose colleges that have a high percentage of students who get their financial needs fully met, receive need-based/merit-based grants and continue scholarships beyond the freshman year.

5. Apply for Private Grants & Scholarships

Applying for private scholarships takes time and patience, but there is free money out there for college. Very large awards are very competitive, so you will need to have realistic expectations. It is more likely that your student may win small grants that could cover a small gap in funding.



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