With annual college costs soaring past $50,000, you probably think
it’s impossible to pay for your first year of college for $1,000 or
But if you think it’s impossible, think again. More students are
slashing their college costs dramatically by applying some or all of
- Strategy one: Get college credit for life experiences.
Speak with admissions representatives of colleges you are
considering to see whether you can get college credit for
experiences you have had in professional life.
- Strategy two: Turn your specialized knowledge into
credit hours. Did you grow up speaking a second language?
Did you excel in an advanced placement test (AP Tests) in high school – but
one that never granted you college-level credits? The solution can be to
take a standardized test that’s administered by Educational
Testing Service (the same company that offers the SAT, GMAT and
other standardized tests). Called the CLEP
(College Credit for Life Experience) Test, this exam is
offered in more than 30 subject areas that include languages,
history, mathematics and science. The cost is currently $72 per
test. (A whole lot less than the cost of most college courses.) So
be sure to ask the colleges where you are applying if you can
utilize the CLEP to earn credits.
- Strategy three: Don’t overlook Veterans benefits.
If you are a vet or a current member of the military, be sure to
investigate the sources of funding available to you. The Post-911
GI Bill is designed to help pay educational costs – even the cost
of housing and textbooks – for soldiers, veterans, and reservists.
To learn more, visit The Department of Veterans Affairs GI
Bill Website or call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).
- Strategy four: Take reasonably priced college courses online to
front-load your college process. StraighterLine.com provides online college courses that are transferable for college
credit, allows you to fulfill your required curricular courses for a
very attractive price indeed – as little as $39 per course in the monthly college plan.
And one more strategy . . .
Buy and read the book Free $ for College for Dummies.
It offers great suggestions on
funding sources that many people overlook. One example? Get your
employer to help pay your college costs. It used to happen more often
than it does today. But if you will be learning skills that can apply on
your job, why not ask?
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