With the cost of college steadily rising, students and their parents are looking for ways to ease the financial burden. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce college expenses for your child.
Take college-credit courses in high school.
Pack your child’s high school schedule with advanced placement classes so they can start earning college credits now. Students who do well on AP exams may be able to skip general education requirements. Some high schools also offer dual-credit courses, allowing students to earn college credit.
Apply for aid.
Always apply for financial aid, even if you think you might not qualify. If you make a lot of money, your child may still be granted some assistance, depending on your family circumstances.
Start at a community college.
Tuition at two-year community colleges is more affordable than at four-year private and public universities. Many students can save money by beginning their college education at these schools and then transferring to a four-year institution to complete their degree. Community college may also be a good option for students who are not sure whether college is right for them, or those who are not sure what they want to study. However, if your child is considering this option, make sure you understand how credits transfer.
Stay close to home.
Heading halfway across the country for college is going to be expensive. If your child stays closer to home for school, they’ll spend less on travel and may even be able to live with you. Plus, in-state public universities and community colleges are typically cheaper.
Get a job.
College is hard work, but many students benefit from working at least a few hours a week while in school. Consider having your child rely on their part-time job, rather than you, for spending money.
Look for scholarships.
Scholarships aren’t just for top athletes and those with perfect SAT scores. There’s money out there for all kinds of students, including those belonging to certain ethnic or religious groups, pursuing certain majors, or attending certain schools.
Choose a school that charges no or minimal tuition.
While admission to these schools is competitive, they are worth exploring, especially if you feel college is financially out of reach. The U.S. federal service academies charge no tuition in exchange for a service commitment. A number of work colleges allow students to attend for free or a nominal cost in exchange for working on campus. However, keep in mind that despite free discounted tuition, students may still be responsible for room, board, and other fees.
Please call to discuss how college planning fits into your broader financial plan.
Copyright © Integrated Concepts 2015. Some articles in this newsletter were prepared by Integrated Concepts, a separate, nonaffiliated business entity. This newsletter intends to offer factual and up-to-date information on the subjects discussed, but should not be regarded as a complete analysis of these subjects. The appropriate professional advisers should be consulted before implementing any options presented. No party assumes liability for any loss or damage resulting from errors or omissions or reliance on or use of this material.