College Costs

  • 5 Strategies to Afford College if You’re Not Rich

    Barry Lenson

    You want to go to college. But how can you come up with $50,000+ to attend a four-year state school, or with $200,000+ to attend a four-year private college? (That’s about what you’ll pay when you add up tuition, housing, student fees, and other costs.) That question isn’t only bothering students. It’s troubling colleges too. To fill their classrooms, they need to attract smart students who mistakenly believe that they lack the funds to attend. As you’ll read in “A Nudge to Poorer Students to Aim High on Colleges,” an article by David Leonhardt in The New York Times on September 25, the College Board is launching a program that will encourage 28,000 high school seniors from lower-income families to apply to high-quality col ...

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  • Where You Start College Matters

    Barry Lenson

    Where You Start College Matters if You Want to Save Money The first place you take college courses is the most important if you want to keep your college costs low. I’ll explain why in a moment but before I do, let’s take a moment to remember how most colleges structure their programs of study . . . Students start out taking required general education courses. After completing those courses students declare a major and begin to take courses that focus on it. Your Chance to Save Money on College The first college courses you take offer you the greatest opportunity to cut costs because: You can cut your costs to a minimum by taking general education courses online here at StraighterLine. You can take College Algebra, Introd ...

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  • Student Debt Success Stories

    Barry Lenson

    Not everyone who goes to college ends up deep in debt.  Here are the stories of StraighterLine students who have saved – not borrowed– thousands of dollars by taking high-quality online courses with StraighterLine. Latoya Deon estimates that a three-credit Introduction to a philosophy course at the University of San Francisco would have cost her $2,700.  “My StraighterLine course cost me a total of $150, which is exactly what they said it would cost,” she says. To keep her cost at that level, she signed up for a $99 monthly StraighterLine subscription and paid $49 for her course. She saved about $2,550 by using StraighterLine.   Diana Stone was able to graduate in 2013, not 2014, because she took StraighterLine ...

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  • How to Avoid Borrowing too Much to Pay for College

    Barry Lenson

    A recent study by FICO Labs reports that student debt is quickly spiraling out of control . . . Back in 2005-2007, 12.4% of student borrowers were defaulting on their loans. After October 2010, that percentage surged to 15.1%. That represents a 22% increase in the delinquency rate. In 2005, the average debt owed on a student loan was $17,233. In 2012, it had increased to more than $27,253. That represents a 58% increase in seven years. (FICO Labs notes that during that same period, the amount Americans owed on credit card balances and car loans actually went down.) How to Borrow Less and Prevent Financial Disaster If you borrow less and owe less, you’ll dramatically lower the odds that you too will ever default on a loan, dama ...

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  • You Can Control The Cost Of College

    Barry Lenson

    At state schools, tuition continues to rise. It does at exclusive private colleges too – the schools with immense endowments. Dartmouth College, for example, had a $3.9 billion endowment in 2012. Tuition there hovers at $45,000. Dartmouth also gives financial aid to 57% of its students, according to data on About.com. Instead of quoting a hefty tuition fee and then requiring only 43% of students to pay it, why doesn’t a school like Dartmouth simply lower tuition for everybody? That would make more sense than what they are doing, right? Yet there are good reasons why colleges won’t do that. For one thing, a certain number of college students come from families that are able, maybe even eager, to pay full tuition. Then there ...

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