Cutting College Costs


"10 Tips On How To Cut Down Your College Costs!"

1. Talk with your child about how important it is to study hard throughout high school and make the best grades possible. Students should also try to get their highest SAT and ACT scores. This may require test prep or tutoring, but it is worth the money. Taking the tests two of three times is also a good idea. Merit scholarships are often based on grades and test scores.

2.   Don’t wait until your student’s senior year to search for scholarships.  Many are available to students from 9th through 12th grade.  Look into organizations that sponsor scholarships such as Rotary Clubs and the Elks.  Religious organizations and employers often have available grants. Even if the scholarship is a small amount, it may help to pay for books and supplies. 

3.   Meet all deadlines for signing up for the SAT and ACT as well as for college applications and scholarships.  Don’t incur late fees or lose out altogether.  Those $16 late fees add up and make paying for college more expensive.  Some schools will also allow students to apply without paying the usual $40 or more application fee.  It never hurts to ask.

4.   Seriously consider schools where your student can graduate in four years.  Most students take five or six years.  This can add two additional years of tuition and living expenses.  Schools that are committed to seeing their students graduate in four years can save you a lot of money and make paying for college a lot easier.

5.   Find schools that are a good match for your student academically and personally.  If they do not feel they fit, students often will want to transfer.  Transferring to another school can lead to lost credits and additional expenses.  Educational consultants are experts at helping students find schools that are a good fit and where they will want to spend four years. 

6.   Look at a wide variety of schools, including both public and private.  Some families have found private schools can actually cost less than some public universities.  Private schools are also a lot more generous with financial aid and scholarships.

7.   Always fill out the FAFSA form, whether you think you quality for financial aid or not.  Some private school suggest you fill out the CSS profile that is found on the College Board website.  The less debt you and your student take on, the better.

8.   Encourage your student to find textbooks that are used by looking online.  Students sometimes can even share a book with another student who is taking the same course at a different time.    It’s amazing how expensive books can be.

9.   Allow your student to take more responsibility for his or her education by contributing summer earnings or money made from part-time jobs for college expenses.  Hopefully, they can pay for their pizzas and social life and not need to rely on you.  This usually makes students a lot more serious about their education because they are helping to pay it.

10.  Carefully consider the available meal plans.  Some students will not use all of the meals because they never eat breakfast and grab a bagel on their way to class.  Why pay for seven additional meals if your student plans to eat out?