Save on College Tuition in High School

by Kyle

There are countless ways in which students can save money for college. One of the most efficient ways to do so is by taking AP or IB classes. These classes are free to the student since they are taken at their regular high school. Taking these classes and passing the exams will give the student college credit. The average tuition per credit hour can be anywhere from $175 - $300. Most college classes are 3 credit hours. We will say tuition will be $200 per credit hour to keep things simple. If a student takes a total of 4 AP/IB classes in high school, then this student saved $2400.

My own personal example, I received a total of 36 credit hours for my AP classes taken in high school, saving my family and I $21,600. Not bad savings and I got many prerequisites out of the way when I came into college, saving even more money on living expenses.

AP/IB classes are by far one of the easiest ways to save money for college, not to mention the additional challenge will prepare high school students for college classes.

Read more College Financial Aid Tips from other students and parents who have been through process.

Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Kyle for sharing the value of AP and IB classes in high school. This is a great way for a serious student to save money at college. With many classes being impacted at public colleges and universities, arriving at college with a lot of credits puts you at a big advantage in enrolling in classes. There are also additional merit based scholarships available. Check out some of our scholarship ideas on our website.

Making the Most of High School AP and Dual Credit Classes to Save Money

(by Joe, Pennsylvania)

Scholarships. Financial aid. Essay contests. These are all credible ways to help defray the cost of a college education, but there is another way that may be even more efficient and effective if you're a hard worker and don't mind a little academic challenge. Take AP and dual enrollment courses while in high school. This is money in the bank for students who can do well in their classes. It is also a great strategy for students who don't qualify for any special need-based aid.

By planning ahead and working with teachers and guidance counselors, students can take advanced placement (AP) classes in areas they excel in at high school. If you pass your AP exams with good scores (usually a 3 or higher depending on the
college of your choice), many colleges will give you credit for similar required classes.

Dual-enrollment, which means you take a high school class that is taught on a college level and you receive credit from the local community college if all requirements are met, is another great way to earn college credit while you're still in high school.

Complete another college course or two over the summers of your junior and senior year, and you may have almost a year or more of college credit complete before you graduate high school. This can save thousands of dollars! You can save time and money getting some of the general college classes out of the way, and save on room, board and books if you have enough credit to reduce your stay a semester or two on campus.

In addition to saving money, this strategy of taking AP and dual enrollment classes during high school has another benefit. You get the opportunity to see what type of work is required at the college level so you can learn how to manage your time and resources better. Managing these skills, critical for college readiness and success, will be crucial that first year away from home.

Is it a little harder to take AP and dual enrollment? Absolutely. These classes generally move at a faster pace than regular academic classes, and they require more time and effort. You may have to say no to friends once in a while when you're on deadline and have work due, but in the long run, it's worth it.

If you want to find another way to help reduce the financial cost of a college education, consider taking AP and dual-enrollment classes at your high school. You'll work a little harder, but this strategy can really pay off.

Read more College Financial Aid Tips from other students and parents who have been through process.

Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Joe for sharing some excellent advice. Your AP classes can give you a big advantage in class registration in college as you have more college credits, and also can help you be eligible for merit based scholarships and grants. The dual credit classes are another great way to work toward that college degree while still in high school. Best of luck to you.

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