How to Reduce Your College Tuition Bill

College costs are rising faster than the rate of inflation. For many families a college education for their child may be out of reach. The national average cost of a state public institution is over $15,000, a private college is over $33,000 and an elite private is well over $50,000. With the cost of college being so expensive families are looking for some tuition relief. Here are some ways families can save money on their tuition bill.

AP Courses – Good scores (3 or higher) on AP exams allow you to obtain college credit for courses. Your student may be required to take fewer general education courses. This saves you time and money and in some cases helps students graduate in four years. The average college graduation rate is 5.8 years.

Community College – Most community colleges permit high school students to take college courses concurrently. If the course is college transferrable he or she may be able to earn college credit, thus reducing the number of undergraduate courses required. Community colleges are also great lower cost places to start studies and then finish at a four year university. Special note: due to the economic downturn and overcrowding at the community college level it may take your student longer to transfer.

In-State tuition – In most states colleges require students to meet residency requirements for in-state tuition. It has become harder for out of state students to claim residency to get a discount on their education. Attending an in-state college or university may reduce your tuition costs. If the state has a grant program and your family qualifies you can save even more money.

CLEP Exams – Some colleges may let you take the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) to receive college credit. These general subject exams in English composition, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences/history measure your student’s familiarity with material covered in courses taken during the first two years of college to meet the general education or liberal arts requirements.

These are just some of the strategies families can use to save thousands of dollars off their college tuition bill. A combination of two or more of these strategies can save you even more money. A College Planning Professional offers numerous academic, financial and tax planning strategies to save you money on college costs as well. Families that want to save time and money always use an expert – you can too.

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