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Techniques for Saving Money

By EmmaLee Kidwell

March 14, 2012

In the previous year, college tuition and fees at public colleges increased by over 8%.
Students at private colleges saw increases of 3.2 to 4.5%. (Education & the Workforce
Committee 2011). To counter this rise, students can employ several strategies to reduce the cost
of attending college.


Students should pursue all scholarship opportunities, not just those that are based on
need. Scholarships based on academic achievement have been increasingly awarded in past
years. (Silverstein 2002) Nearly all colleges provided merit-based scholarships to prospective
students. Most states offer scholarships through their education offices. Finally, many schools
offer grants and scholarships in special areas such as music, technology, math, and science.

Many companies and associations offer scholarships. For example, banks often provide
scholarships or grants for students planning to work in the finance industry. Alumni
organizations typically have scholarship programs. Parents should check with their employers to
see if they provide assistance to children of employees.

Students should pursue all avenues for funding. For example, many schools have special
scholarships for students who do not qualify for federal or state funding. Others may offer
discounted tuition to older students. Typically, financial aid counselors can help students find
scholarships, grants, and discounts.


Students who attend local colleges can save considerable money on both housing and
tuition. Students who live at home can save as much as $6000 per year. (U.S. Government
Department of Education n.d.) Living at home also enables students to attend a community
college for the first 1 or 2 years, which substantially lowers tuition costs. Tuition at local public
colleges avoids the extra tuition typically charged to out-of-state residents.


Many students can leverage their income by working at a job coordinated through the
college that they are attending. Some schools provide free room and board to students in
exchange for the work they perform. Others provide discounts to student government leaders.
Students should find their institution’s placement office to find on and off campus jobs.


Two programs pay for tuition and fees for those planning to be in a military service—
Service Academy Scholarships and the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarship
Program. Service Academy Scholarships are competitive scholarships that provide free tuition at
a military academy. ROTC scholarships pay for tuition, textbooks, and a monthly living
allowance. Both scholarships require a service commitment upon graduation.


Receive college credit by testing through one of these test-out programs:

 Advanced Placement Program (APP)

 College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
 Provenience Examination Program (PEP)

Some colleges give credit for life experiences.1


Several other options include:

 Take transferable summer college courses at less expensive schools.

 Take advantage of accelerated 3-year programs when they are available
 Take the maximum number of allowed credits to reduce the number of quarters or
semesters needed to graduate.

Contact the Distance Education and Training Council at 1601 18th Street, NW, Washington DC
20009, or call (202) 234-5100 for more information.



Education & the Workforce Committee. 2011. Subcommittee to Explore Innovative Strategies to
Curb Rising College Costs. November 28. Accessed October 8, 2014.

Silverstein, Stuart. 2002. "THE NATION; Scholarships for Achievement, Not Need, Increase
Rapidly; College: The shift comes largely in response to middle- class parents' concerns
about costs." Los Angeles Times, June 17: A.1.

U.S. Government Department of Education. n.d. 30 Ways to Reduce College Costs. Accessed
June 1, 2014. https: / / / getmoney / pay_for_college / cost_35.html.