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6 Ways to Save Money On A College Degree – StudentAdvisor

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by Diane Thomas |  08/16/2013


Many people are asking the question, “Does college still pay off?”

The skyrocketing price of college tuition combined with a slow economy and a high unemployment rate is forcing families to wonder if college degrees are worth the price it takes to get them. In general, people with college degrees still make more money over their lifetimes than people without them, so what choices do frugal students have for earning college degrees without burying themselves deep in debt?

[Read Return on Investment in Paying For College for more advice]

Here are 6 smart options for saving money on college degrees:

1. Start at a Community College

Community colleges provide great options for affordable degree programs, and students save additional money by commuting to their classes. If you’re worried that local community college degrees don’t carry enough clout, consider starting at a community college and transferring to a higher-rated institution after two years. You’ll still earn your diploma from the more prestigious college, but for only a fraction of the price.

2. Attend Night School

Night school options at a major universities offer students the chance to earn their college degrees while working full-time jobs. In addition to making money while you go to school, night school class tuition is generally less expensive, you can live at home, you have access to all the university’s typical resources and you still get to say you graduated with a degree from your favorite university – with the credentials to prove it!

3. Accelerate Your Degree

Students who finish school faster pay less in tuition and fees over time, even if all they avoid is the yearly tuition hike that’s bound to come. You can accelerate your degree by taking extra classes, or by taking advantage of prior learning assessment methods which allow students to get college credit for things they’ve already learned. You may also take College Level Exams (CLEPs) to demonstrate proficiency in particular subjects as well as transfer college credit from prior courses you may have already completed. You can even earn college credit from military training.

[Documenting Your Experience For College Credit – a free online course!]

4. Take A MOOC

MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, are free college-level courses that are taught online, often by top-tier universities. There are several benefits to taking one before setting off on the path to college degrees:

MOOCs allow you to sample your interests.

Before paying tuition for courses you may not like, try out one or two MOOCs for free to see if investing in college degrees for particular majors like business or computer science is the right choice for you.

MOOCs help you discover your learning style.

What kind of student are you? Social learners who like to express themselves verbally might fare better pursuing on-campus college degrees while self-motivated students who enjoy writing and computer interaction are the most successful studnets in online colleges.

Do you need structure and deadlines, or does a self-paced class appeal to you? MOOCs offer both, so give each one a try.

[Find free online classes at MOOCAdvisor]

MOOCs can accelerate your degree.

The American Council on Education recently gave the green light for 5 MOOCs to offer college credit and more will be coming if all goes well. The courses will remain free to all, but there will be a fee for those who wish to receive college credit through proctored exams.

5. Sign Up For Online Degrees

Low-cost online degrees are the new driving force behind the push to lower college tuition, and colleges and universities have taken notice of the rising popularity of online colleges. Many traditional colleges are now offering online degrees for less than their campus-program counterparts, but they still can’t beat the tuition for online degrees from fully-online colleges like Western Governors University and Mount Washington College. Online degrees from these colleges run in the $6,000 range.

6. Find a Scholarship

Scholarships are not just for high school seniors. Students should continue looking for scholarships at every level of their education to lower their tuition costs as well as their student debt. More families than ever before are relying on scholarship and grant money to reduce their need for student loans, but scholarships still go unclaimed every year. Whether you attend a major university or a community college, go to school on campus or online, have a high Grade Point Average or never finished high school – there are scholarships out there that you can apply for.

[Find money for college at ScholarshipAdvisor]

Do you know of more ways to save money at college? Share your tips with our readers in the comment section below.

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via 6 Ways to Save Money On A College Degree – StudentAdvisor.


Born in 1964, business owner, from Woodbridge, VA, owns ExcitingAds! Inc. ( and blog ( He was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. His elementary school was ST. Michael's Convent High School, Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated high school from ST. Bonaventure's Convent High School, Hyderabad, Sind, Pakistan. His pre-med college was S. A. L. Govt. College, Mirpurkas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan in 1990. Earned equivalency certification from Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA in 1994.

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