Saving Money on College Costs. Top 5 Tips for Saving Money on College Costs

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1 Saving Money on College Costs Top 5 Tips for Saving Money on College Costs The high cost of college is front page news, along with the question about whether or not a college degree is worth it. The overwhelming majority of evidence points to the ongoing value of a college degree, but there s some ways to save money while getting that valuable diploma. 1) Test for Credit Did you know you can take a test to skip taking a college course? This is one of the best kept secrets for saving money on college. Almost every college and university in the country offer some Test for Credit options (CLEP is the most common). In fact, several traditional 4 year colleges offer up to 60 hours of credit via testing (that s 20 classes!), and several online colleges will grant unlimited credits via testing. This is an opportunity to get college credits for required courses out of the way for a fraction of the price, and on your own time! You can save up to $1,000 per course by utilizing test for credit that s up to $20,000 in potential savings! In addition to being able to save money, research also shows that students who utilize test for credit are more likely to graduate, and graduate in a shorter amount of time than those who do not earn test for credit. Get ahead by taking and passing the test. Be sure to study to make sure you pass and earn the college credit. Check out online resources for studying like JumpCourse.com we have online course material to ensure you pass your test. CLEP tests: widely accepted at over 2,900 colleges and universities, CLEP (College Level Examination Prep) tests mastery of college level material for 33 subjects. This is a great way to get credit for General Ed or required Business courses. Some popular courses are Psychology, Sociology, Marketing and Economics. Exam cost is $80. [Here are the steps to signing up and taking the CLEP test hotlink] DSST tests: accepted at many colleges, DSST offers 38 exams in diverse subject areas, with the subjects typically less general than CLEP subjects. This can be a good way to get business

2 or elective requirements out of the way. Course examples include: Organizational Behavior, Health, Vietnam War History, and Intro to World Religions. Exam cost is $80. AP tests: accepted at most colleges, the AP (Advanced Placement) program offers collegelevel curriculum and examinations to high school students for 34 subjects, ranging from Languages to Economics and Psychology. This is a great way to get a jump on college with prior credits. In order to earn credit, you often need to earn a 3 or higher (some colleges require a 4) on the AP test. The national testing average is below those test scores, so be sure to study. AP exams are usually given the first 2 weeks of May. IB tests: accepted at over 2,000 colleges, the IB (International Baccalaureate) program is also for high school students to take college level courses and be tested to show mastery of the subject. Many colleges only give credit for tests at the HL (Higher Level) tests, and often a 6 or 7 is necessary to apply for credit. Much like the AP, subjects range across Languages, entry Business Courses and General Ed Courses. 2) Earn Credits That Can Transfer to Your College Community College Courses: the per course cost at a community college is typically much less than that same course at a 4 year university. Save on the basics and required classes by getting them out of the way at a lower cost. Is there really that big of a difference between basic College Algebra or English 101 at your community college vs. the more expensive 4 year university? It s doubtful. Many 4 year institutions and 2 year colleges work together to make the transfer easy for the student. Be sure to investigate relationships between your college of choice and nearby community colleges. Online Courses with ACE Accreditation: There are many colleges that accept online courses that have ACE accreditation (for example, Excelsior tests). ACE is an organization that qualifies a specific course or exam to be eligible for college credit. The course and exam content closely match typical college course content and widely used textbooks. ACE courses cover some traditional General Education and Business Courses, but also offer courses in specialized fields, including nursing and teaching. StraighterLine is an online company that offers many ACE courses that can transfer for college credit. 3) Save on Textbooks

3 The average annual cost of textbooks and supplies is now over $1,200 per student per semester. Over 60% of students have said they have decided against buying a textbook for a college course, even though they are concerned it will affect their grade. Avoid paying hundreds of dollars for a textbook: Buy a used textbook there are often used book stores close to campus and most books are in good condition. Some students even prefer the notes and highlighting done by other students! Shop online to compare prices even with shipping, costs may be lower. Rent a textbook there are many sources for renting textbooks, even Amazon. Be sure to shop around. Explore digital course material and ebook costs these are typically time based subscriptions, but can result in significant savings. 4) Stay In State or Nearby Going to an in state college can amount to huge savings. The average tuition and fees for instate students tallied $7,635 in , compared to $17,785 for out of state students, according to U.S. News data. If you don t plan to stay in state, consider regional tuition breaks, which can cut costs, too. Some colleges also offer tuition breaks to students in adjacent states, so be sure to check with admissions. Other money saving tips for students include: finding and using student discounts at local merchants, utilizing mass transit to lower transportation costs, and track expenses. It will be worth it to earn that degree now get to saving! 5) Graduate On Time College costs can really ramp up if you have to stay in school an extra semester or more. Consider the costs of room, board, tuition and even lost wages when you don t graduate on time. According to the Department of Education, only 40% of students graduate in 4 years, with the average closer to 6 years. Here s the 7 tips to help you graduate on time! 1. Make sure you are academically ready. Entering college without strength in some core topics like reading, writing and math can lead to taking entry level courses that do not

4 count toward credit. Be sure to also understand the expectations of your chosen college admissions experts: whether it s your SAT, ACT or Accuplacer exam be sure to make the minimum score to avoid taking Foundational (and non credit) courses. P.S. JumpCourse offers Foundational courses in English and Math for only $49! 2. Take AP/IB courses while in High School. Get ahead by earning college level credits while still in high school, either through AP or IB. Even if these courses are not offered at your high school, you can still take the test and earn the credit even before you begin college. 3. Create an academic plan with your Advisor. To be most efficient with your college credits, be sure to meet with your academic advisor to map out a plan. Identify courses that require pre requisites and make sure to get them out of the way. Don t procrastinate on courses that you are worried that you won t pass get them out of the way so that you don t get stuck in your last semester just shy of graduation! 4. Choose a major by your sophomore year and stick to it! Too many times, students waste valuable college credits by switching majors, and that comes with new course and credit requirements. 5. Be sure to take a full course load. For many colleges, students need to take 15 hours per semester in order to earn the required 120 credit hours in 4 years. At a course load of only 12 hours, it will take the student an extra year to earn the 120 credit hours. 6. Utilize test for credit. If you can t get the courses that you need, or cannot get a schedule of 15 hours in a semester, be sure to earn credits through popular test for credit programs like CLEP and DSST. Be sure to be ready to pass the course by taking a test prep class like a JumpCourse. 7. Don t take on too much outside of academics. Whether it s social activities or work, be sure to focus enough energy on your academics to ensure you succeed. Your primary goal is graduation don t lose sight of that! Stay focused on graduation, and be sure to graduate in 4! It s one of the best ways to save money on college. Here s some more detail on how the test for credit process works: Step 1: Got to JumpCourse.com and search for your college and college course. Step 2: Purchase your online JumpCourse for only $99 it s backed by a 100% Money Back Guarantee. Step 3: Make a plan to finish the course. Our courses average 60 hours of content and practice tests take that into account as you plan when you will be ready for your CLEP test. Step 4: Sign up for the CLEP test at a nearby location. Testing centers are on many college campuses, and test fees are typically $80. You can contact us for help, or do a search for a

5 location at clep.collegeboard.org. Note: active military students do not have to pay the CLEP test fee. Also, be sure to know the code for the college that you want the credits to apply. Step 5: Be sure to let us know your test date our course coaches will help you get through the course on time. Step 6: Take and pass the test on your scheduled date! Your school will be automatically notified and you will have those course credits added to your transcript and you can skip taking that class! Save time and money. Sources: Fixing the Broken Textbook Market, US PRIG Education Fund Fueling the Race to Postsecondary Success: CAEL

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