According to CollegeBoard.com, the average yearly tuition rates at a private four-year school costs $23,712—up 6.3% from last year. That’s like buying a brand new Volkswagon Beetle convertible every year for four years. There’s no question that the cost of college can be astronomical. Before you let that number scare you away from higher education, take a look at these ways for reducing the high cost of college.
A great way to help pay for college is by snagging some scholarships. Estimates show there’s $130 billion worth of scholarships out there for the taking. Get online and research available scholarships on sites like CollegeScholarships.com or Fastweb.com.
Sign up for UPromise
UPromise is a free program that can help you accrue college savings by putting a portion of money you spend on every day purchases in a special account or even into a 529 Plan. There are over 40,000 participating retail stores and services. Once you’ve set up an account, you can start earning. You can even get friends or family members to put a portion of what they spend into your youngster’s account.
Contribute to 529s
If your children are at least a few years away from heading off to college try contributing to a 529. A 529 Plan is an educational savings plan designed to help families save up for future college costs. The main benefit of having a 529 is the tax savings. Your contribution isn’t deductible, but your investment will grow tax-deferred.
Take Advantage of Advanced Placement Courses
AP Calculus may not be the most fun way to spend your senior year, but it is a good way to earn college credit for free while still in high school. These are classes you can take for free typically during your junior and senior years, but you will be able to earn college credit with them. Study hard, though. Your grade will impact your college GPA.
Attend Public College
According to CollegeBoard.com, the average yearly tuition rates at a private four-year school costs $23,712. Compare that with the annual tuition rate at a public four-year school: $6,185. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to realize that you can save big bucks by going public. You’ll save even more by attending a two-year college. On average, tuition there costs $2,361. You’ll still get your diploma but it will have a whole lot less debt attached to it.
By Alison Storm
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