I know first hand how daunting the cost of college education can be. So, saving every dollar on your college education can mean a lot to your bottom line. Here are some helpful ways for every college student to help cut college costs – no matter if you are gearing towards the criminal justice field, or not.
1. Most schools charge one price for a specific number of credits taken in a semester. If academically possible, students should take the maximum number of credits allowed. This strategy reduces the amount of time needed to graduate.
2. Some colleges give credit for life experiences, thereby reducing the number of credits needed for graduation. Students should check with the college for further information. You can also write to Distance Education and Training Council at 1601 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009, or call (202) 234-5100.
3. A state college or university charges lower fees to state residents. Since public institutions are subsidized by state revenues, their tuition costs are lower than private schools’ costs. The college selection process should include consideration of a state school. Although cost should be a consideration, students should not base their choice of a school only on cost. If online education is what you’re seeking most try finding one that is through a state college or university. Trust me, there are many of them.
4. Some schools offer combined degree programs or 3-year programs that allow students to take all of the courses needed for graduation in 3 years, instead of 4, thereby eliminating 1 year’s educational expenses. This usually requires a heavier class load, but it’s well worth it.
5. Some students choose to attend a community college for 1 or 2 years, and then transfer to a 4-year school. Tuition costs are substantially lower at community colleges than at 4-year institutions. I highly recommend this method, especially if you’re not sure what you would like to study; thus not throwing away your money if you can’t decide within the first 2 years of your college education.
6. Many schools provide lists of housing opportunities that provide free room and board to students in exchange for a certain number of hours of work each week.
7. Another way to reduce college costs is to take fewer credits by getting rid of them. How? – you might ask. Students should find out their school’s policy regarding the Advanced Placement Program (APP), the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), and the Provenience Examination Program (PEP). Under these programs, a student takes an examination in a particular subject and, if the score is high enough, receives college credit. I have done this for a couple courses and it saved me several thousand dollars.
8. In many cases, summer college courses can be taken at a less expensive school and the credits transferred to the full-time school. Students should check with their academic adviser, however, to be certain that any course taken at another school is transferable. When I lived in Chicago, many university students did this to speed up their graduation, but they were saving thousands at the same time.
9. When transferring credits from one school to another make sure to fight for every last drop of the transfer credit. If you have taken the same or similar classes at one school, why should you be repeating it again and waste your dollars. I had to fight hard for the transfer of two 4 credit classes. I made phone calls, wrote emails, and even sent one letter via snail mail. In the end, those courses were successfully transferred saving me $752 per credit, or over $6,000 for all eight. It wasn’t hard and it was well worth it.
10. Most colleges and universities offer their employees a tuition reduction plan or tuition waiver program. Under this type of arrangement, the school employee and family members can attend classes at a reduced cost or no cost at all. This type of program is based not upon financial need, but rather on college employment. I personally know of several police officers that have taken advantage of this perk and worked security part-time at a college or university they attended. One was able to offset all his expenses with a 60% tuition reduction and the help of Federal Financial Aid. The point is that university employees have a chance of eliminating the cost of their college education up to 100%.
11. Some colleges and universities offer special discounts if more than one child from the same family is enrolled – make sure to ask. Did you have a brother or sister attend the university in the past? If so, you should also ask for this perk.
12. Some schools offer reduced tuition rates to families if the major wage earner is unemployed. If available make sure to ask for details. Once employment is resumed the tuition reduction may be terminated.
13. Some private colleges will match the tuition of out-of-state institutions for certain students. Check with your college to determine whether you qualify for this option.
14. Some companies offer tuition assistance to the children of employees. Parents and students should check with the personnel office for information.
15. Some companies offer tuition assistance to YOU. Find out if your company has tuition reimbursement programs. Military personnel should take advantage of the GI Bill.
16. Buy used text books or get e-books which can often save you a good buck and eliminate shipping costs.
17. Use open source software, like the Open Office Suite that nicely replaces Microsoft’s Office Suite and is absolutely free.
There are certainly more ways to cut your college costs, but these seemed pretty right up there. If you would like to add any I may have missed, please do so below. I’m sure everyone will appreciate any info that will save them mulah.