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How some students are lowering or avoiding college tuition and student loans

Dave_BerryDave_Berry 492 replies2567 threadsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
"As many Americans struggle with student debt, a growing number of college-bound teenagers have found a way to sidestep as much as $44,000 in tuition expense, on average — and the loans that often go along with it.

Enrollment is growing in early college programs, which allow high school students to take college courses in 11th and 12th grade, potentially cutting the time and money spent at four-year institutions in half. All official early colleges are public." ...

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Replies to: How some students are lowering or avoiding college tuition and student loans

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 84099 replies1025 threadsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Forum Champion

    My brother’s kids have done Running Start in Washington! Saved him a lot!
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  • elodyCOHelodyCOH 387 replies24 threadsRegistered User Member
    Early college at University of Alabama is a great program. My son has taken classes there junior year and this summer. It is a very good deal for us.
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  • hopedaisyhopedaisy 87 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I know students who attend a local early college program. College classes are taken via the local community college with transfer relationships to state universities. It's a good value but there are some drawbacks. Students take basic community college classes instead of AP courses which in some cases have resulted in a lower-quality education. ACT test scores at this school are lower than top high schools in the area. Also, there are issues with qualifying for financial aid if you have too many college credits when you graduate. Not all early college programs are the same. The one that is through University of Alabama sounds light years better than the one offered at my local school.
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  • turtletimeturtletime 1245 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My eldest did this. She chose not to shorten her university time (and got a financial package that allowed that) but many of her classmates finished in 3 years. I think it’s fantastic as many kids are more than capable of starting college early.
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  • NJRoadieNJRoadie 589 replies28 threadsForum Champion Rowan, Forum Champion TCNJ Forum Champion
    Yes, my daughter brought in 29 AP credits and will graduate in 3 years with zero debt for her or us. I feel sad that we rushed her college experience, but hope that in 10 years when she is doing well financially with no college debt that it will seem worth it.
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  • TigerRose88TigerRose88 6 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I had a friend work at Americorp after he graduated, that boosted his resume, created a great network for him, as well as relieved his debt for every year he worked with them.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22981 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I have suggested my daughter look into americorp to get some experience as well as the $$ to pay some of her loans (it's the same amount as a Pell grant for 1700 hours of work). She's getting a minor in museum studies and I found some assignments that are working in museums, mostly with Indian art.
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  • MandalorianMandalorian 1739 replies14 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Great options! There's always the military too.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1380 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    This will only work when it applies to all colleges. When it applies only to state universities and a narrow range of schools then it really is just a substitute for Community College (which for many jobs and graduate programs) has a negative connotation. The AP program credits used to transfer until colleges realized that students would pursue this venue to cut a year or two off their undergraduate degree. Today many selective colleges require 8 semesters. Yes, a few will allow you to pursue a grad degree during that time but many will just place you in higher level courses. The students are getting the worst end of the deal having done the AP work and not being able to get the college credit. This should be where people put there emphasis. Force ALL schools to accept AP credit for what it is, college credit.
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  • dogs&heavymetaldogs&heavymetal 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I did something called Middle College in my state. It has different names across the US and maybe Canada (?). I am transferring from community college at the age of 18 and 1.5 years earlier than traditional high school students. It will have saved my family about 40 grand in tuition (state university) and puts me ahead. Other ways to save money is to:
    -only take classes that are necessary for credits/ major requirements.
    -buy USED textbooks (don't even bother going into the bookstore unless you can't find it online).
    -Apply to be an RA or other work on campus (there are jobs for basically anyone in lots of different fields).
    - limit your credit card use, or don't bring one at all.
    - if you have a meal plan, don't eat out (or have a very limited and strict budget on eating out, say, 8 bucks per week).
    -cut out unnecessary spending such as booze at bars, bringing a car on campus and you don't really need it, and frequent shopping trips (make a list and stick to it. It takes time to learn to do that).
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  • CourtneyThurstonCourtneyThurston 1373 replies14 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Real college classes made my high school's AP classes look like a joke. My stepmom taught at a different local high school (regarded as probably the best public in the region, routinely sent kids to the Ivies, etc) -- their APs also look like a joke now in comparison.

    There's really no argument for forcing colleges to accept AP. If anything, I'm shocked so many do.
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  • natty1988natty1988 642 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    My kids said that their college classes were nothing like their AP classes....APs just felt like an advanced high school class..
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  • my2caligirlsmy2caligirls 926 replies10 threadsRegistered User Member
    I'm a fan of AP classes as they usually offer more rigor than the standard high school curriculum - has to offer some value in preparing kids for college. Some AP's are hard, and some relatively easy. If they get credit great, and if not they will be better prepared by taking them.

    Also, regarding previous comments, I don't necessarily agree that "real college classes" are always harder than AP. Just like AP, there are hard college classes and there are easy college classes with plenty in between.
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  • GeorgiaDad18GeorgiaDad18 2 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Regarding the AP classes your mentioning, did the students that were in them make mostly 4's & 5's on the AP test? I'm just wondering if there can be variation with regards to how rigorous the classes can be taught. At my daughter's school, it seems like the AP's are being taught incredibly hard and many of the kids are getting 4's and 5's. I don't have any knowledge other than her classes how AP's are taught at other schools. I would think that if the class isn't taught in depth, than the scores would reflect that.
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  • HSPOPSHSPOPS 39 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Its a good thing especially for small schools with No AP. My D has 18 credits starting junior year.
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