What This Means To You

Don’t let the cost of college get in your way. Most college degrees will pay for themselves over time with increased earnings. But no matter how much money you or your parents may be able to put toward your education, it would be wise to get the most value for your dollars.

How does saving $40,000 — about 40 percent of the cost — on a college education sound to you?

There are many ways to cut costs on a college education. One of those ways includes doing well enough in high school to land a scholarship (full or partial). But scholarships are hard to find, especially if you are not near the top of your class.

Our top suggestions for cutting college costs are:

  1. Go to a college near your home. Live at home and drive to class or use public transportation. That will cut thousands off your college costs – room and board is very expensive. If commuting to school is not possible, live off-campus (not in a dorm room) with a few other students and share the cost of rent and food.
  2. Be academically ready and avoid paying for remedial courses. Virtually all college students are required to take college-level English and Algebra courses (not high school-level) in freshmen year. Four-year and two-year colleges will insist that you take a test to see if you are ready for those basic college-level courses, and if you don’t pass that test, you will have to start your college career by taking high school English and Algebra over again. These ‘remedial courses’ do not count toward your degree and are as expensive as credit-bearing courses. These remedial courses might take you a whole year, adding 25% to your college costs. And taking those courses will also slow down your progression to college graduation and add months — maybe years –to your college career and postponing your ability to earn income.
  3. Join the military and have a large percentage of your educational costs covered.
  4. Complete your first two years of college at a community college. Earn your two-year Associate’s Degree. Then transfer your credits into a four-year college and get your Bachelor’s Degree. Here’s the math:

Community colleges cost a lot less per year than a four-year college ($5,000 per year compared to $25,000 per year). Thus, instead of paying $100,000 for a four-year degree (4 years x $25,000) at a four-year college, you will pay $10,000 (2 years at $5,000) for a total of $20,000 (2 years at $10,000).

Total cost for a Bachelor’s Degree spent at a four-year institution:  $100,000.

Total cost for a Bachelor’s Degree with the first half earned at a community college:  $60,000.

Savings:  $40,000.

And the best part about getting your first two years of college under your belt at a community college is that you graduate with an Associate’s Degree at the end of those two years. Many degrees offered at community colleges are in high demand. You can get a high paying job with an Associate’s Degree, work at a job you love, and earn enough money to finish your final two years at a four-year institution, where you can earn a Bachelor’s Degree. GEMESA

It doesn’t get better than that!


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