The 4 Steps to Save Money and Complete College Part 3

Cost: How did money factor into your reasons for leaving school? Do you need to work while going to college? Do you have a full understanding of financial aid and debt repayment?

Remedial Course Work: Did you get caught in a remedial course buzz kill? For some, taking classes similar to those that should have been completed in high school can be disheartening. Was this the case for you?

Academic Assistance: Did you have academic assistance when you needed it? For many students, assistance is just offered in the on-boarding stage of college in the form of remedial course work, and not easily accessed once you get deeper into course material. Was this the case in your situation? Did you have the time you needed to absorb course material over the course of a semester?

Credit Transfer Assistance: Did you move while attending college? And if you did move, did you have a clear understanding of what college courses could transfer for full academic credit at your new school, and which ones could not? Did you abandon completing your degree because of the hassle of trying to figure out how credit transfer works on your own?

4- Create a Forward-Facing Personal Education Plan

With planning and by paying particular attention to past obstacles, you can create a personal college completion plan. For each obstacle, there is an available work-around. Take a look at these tips for overcoming the most common college completion obstacles:

Time: 

Whether you have a family, a rigid work schedule, or a multitude of other obligations in your life, lack of time can be a huge issue. This is where online classes can make all the difference. You can take classes online anytime, anywhere, and at any pace . Speed up through course work when you have the extra time, and slow down as your schedule requires you to do so. Study early in the morning, late at night, or even on your lunch break. The key here is to keep moving forward. Set up your own class “schedule” that works best with your situation. With a class size of one, you don’t have to worry about keeping up – or falling behind.

Cost: 

The cost of college is high and continues to rise. It can be daunting to face tuition bill after tuition bill without the confidence that you will be able to graduate within a reasonable time period. This is where low-cost online college course providers like StraighterLine come into play. With StraighterLine, you can take all the college courses typically required during your first year of college for $999. All StraighterLine course are ACE-recommended and guaranteed for full credit transfer to a substantial list of partner colleges. Alternatively, you can try their $99 month subscription program for unlimited courses (plus a $49 one-time fee per course selected).

Earning credits before you go back to college is a smart move. You can save time and money with online AP courses, or by taking online college courses before you enroll. Either of these, or both, can help you shave a semester, a year, and possible even more off of your college tuition bill. If you are someone who already has credits earned elsewhere, remember every course transferred into the institution where you plan on earning your degree means one less class you have to pay for. Take the time to introduce yourself to the credit transfer staff at your college of choice, and learn the process it takes to give your lingering credits a home. 

Finally, educate yourself about the financial aid process and the effect interest has on student loans. You may find that more expensive colleges, given a decent financial aid package weighted more towards scholarships than loans, may actually be cheaper in the long run.