How much will it really cost me to go back to college today?

Barry Lenson

How much will it cost to go back to college today?Jeanne Ogden is a 35-year-old woman who never completed college. “I did about two years of coursework about 15 years ago,” she tells us, “and now I want to figure out how to finish up and earn my college degree. But I just read an article that says that college is going to cost me $50,000 a year now. How did that happen? Isn’t there some way that I can do about two years of college work without going $100,000 into debt?”

Yes, There Is . . .

If you’re facing the same kind of uncertainty that Jeanne is, you need to know that there really are ways that you can go back to college and finish up a degree without ruining yourself financially.

Here’s a plan, and some options . . .

  • Start by reviewing the coursework that you have already completed. With rising college costs, the courses that you already took are like money in the bank. Start by requesting a transcript from the college(s) that you attended in the past. Show it to the registrar or admissions officer at a college that you might like to attend, and find out how you can transfer in the credits that have already earned. Of if you prefer, contact StraighterLine to discuss how to get credit for the courses that you have completed in the past.
  • Consider attending one of your state’s public colleges or universities. They generally cost about half of what a private college does. So instead of spending $50,000+ on a year of college, you’ll be spending $25,000 or less. Still a lot of money, but a significant saving.
  • Take some of the courses that you need at a community college in your area. If you can complete some of your core curricular “general education” courses there, you can save significant money. You can then transfer into one of your state’s public colleges and universities. If you work the numbers on this strategy, you’ll see that you could slash your costs significantly.
  • Complete your general education core curriculum courses here at StraighterLine, then transfer the credits you earn to the college you are targeting, or to one of StraighterLine’s Partner Colleges. We recently interviewed Matthew Hines, a StraighterLine student who told us that he saved about $18,000 by applying this strategy. If it worked for him, it can work for you too.

So the bottom line is . . .

No, you don’t have to spend $50,000, $100,000 or more to go back to college to finish your degree. To learn more check out The 4 Steps to Save Money and Complete College When Your Life and Credits Have Moved All Over The Place, a free report from

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