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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Cutting College Costs

college-costsWe have four teens in the house, need I say more?  College costs could become a concern, then again, by the looks of their studies….

Now that the U.S. Government is back up and running, or limping, or whatever it is that they do these days, I thought we could take our minds off of the trillion-kabillion-gazillion that America owes to other countries, and focus on how we might avoid such spending habits when it comes to American students and college.

Let me say this up-front, I do not believe that my kids, when/if they college-perks-2attend college, will ever need any of the following:  a sushi bar in the school cafeteria; valet parking to avoid those remote lots from which students don’t like to hike to classes; over-the-top gyms that are spas; free climbing walls and ski/snowboarding.  We’re looking for the academic experience, over and out.  Some proximity to a local town with basic stores might be helpful, but beyond that….

ClepPicI’ve shared with you in the past, how a high school student might cut his/her college costs significantly via:  CLEP tests which test him out of at least the first two years of college at about $100/ 3 credit course;  attending a school such as the University of South Africa whose online costs for a 4-year degree is in the $5,000 range (total, not per annum);  or, of course, attending a community college before transferring to a bigger (i.e., more expensive) university.

Well, apparently, I’ve been aiming too low, because there are plenty of colleges in the U.S. where a student may attend for free.  Free.  FREE!!!

If that sounds too good to be true, it well may be, but you never know until youwork-your-way-through-college apply.  A number of the schools are highly selective, whether in terms of their applicants accepted, or in terms of their narrow-focus majors offered.  Yet, as they say, there’s something for everyone….

college-300x1991A few may require you to engage in on-campus, part-time work, whether operating farm machinery in rural settings, or owing a few years of your life in military programs, or doing the usual odd campus jobs available to undergrads.  Some are schools of art, music, engineering, faith-based, or dedicated to serving students of a certain region, such as Appalachia.

Not sure that any of them would work for our family, but it made for a hope-filled read from U.S. News and World Report:  http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2012/06/12/save-money-by-attending-tuition-free-colleges.

A little more dated list, with some broken links is here.  But, all you need is one, right? http://www.advantageedu.com/blog/2008/100-free-college-rides-you-dont-need-daddy-to-pay-for/ .

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8 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Jeremy says:

    You have done it again. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, I’ll have to go over some of the links soon.

  2. avatar hoonew says:

    You have mentioned one of my pet peeves: in the setting of disastrously high tuition, student accommodations and perks are ridiculously luxurious. Unless one’s family has the wealth to comfortably pay these prices, students should feel very uncomfortable in these ritzy settings, but most students are not mature enough to have this sort of cognitive dissonance. Now I will put on my old codger’s hat, and say “Back in my day, we lived in cinderblock dorms, and we liked it!” And tuition was far lower, and the world was a better place. Rant done!

    • avatar admin says:

      Codgers, unite! I hear you, hoonew. It’s ridiculous. I wish some of mine would have cognitive dissonance-! It’s a hard enough age to “just say no”, and when you’re being bombarded, even by “good” things….

      My tuition for four years was less than one year nowadays. I say keep the costs low, particularly in the schools where teaching assistants are running the show, and let kids do whatever they can afford in their own time and on their own dime.

      I remember back in the day (not my day, but my grandparents’), when the Tsar had his family live a very spartan life in general. They slept in military camp cots, etc., while the most we know of them is Faberge’ eggs and palaces. Ostentation is fine if you’ve earned it, or inherited it, but for young adults it sends a superficial life message. Even Warren Buffett lives below his means.

      Ooh, I feel better now, too! (Sorry for the ramble.)

  3. avatar Leah says:

    Here is a good quote. Live like a student while you are in school so you do not have to live like a student after you graduate.

  4. avatar Sam says:

    You could always encourage the kiddos to study hard so they can get scholarships. I spent six years in college (4 yrs undergrad, 2 yrs grad school) with and graduated by zero debt.

    • avatar admin says:

      Absolutely, Sam, scholarships are great. Unfortunately, ELL students don’t always “show” as well as home-grown kids on standardized tests and in-person interviews, and many scholarships have gone the way of the dinosaur. But where there’s a will, there’s a way! Never say never…. :)

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