Get a degree from a good school for $10K

<p>I am fascinated by the theory you could attend a good college for perhaps as little as $10K </p>

<p>My theoretical plan
1) Apply for a school (ex. University of Florida). Get accepted (no easy task) and choose to defer enrolllment.<br>
2) Move to Gainesville and establish in state residency. You couldn't officially enroll, but you still could walk the campus, perhaps join a few campus clubs, hang out at the Student Union. You might even be able to go to University lectures.<br>
3) Get a job to earn money while you bide your time before entering the college. My understanding is that if you earn more than half of your income in your new state for a year without being a student that would establish residency in Florida
4) Take CLEP exams to get credit in the classes that you are missing. Perhaps double up and earn 60 credits in a year. Each exam is $77 so for 20 classes the cost would be $1,540 (assuming that one passes each class). Univ of Fla does accept CLEP exams for credit.
5) After the year, residency has been established. Enroll in Univ of Fla and pay $3,777 for annual tuition. For 2 years the cost would be $7,554.</p>

<p>Spend less than $10K in tuition, get a degree from a great school, graduate a year early. You might miss some of the college experiece, but its well worth the tradeoff.</p>

<p>Is there anything wrong with this plan?</p>

<p>Don't know the rules for Florida, but often residency is based on where your parents live when you're under age 24.</p>

<p>I don't think you'll be able to join "clubs" on campus unless you are an enrolled student.</p>

<p>I don't know FL's residency requirements. If all it takes is living there...then that works. </p>

<p>You'll have to check to see if you can fulfill all the requirements for a degree major in two years. Sometimes you can...and sometimes you can't.</p>

<p>Yes...the school accepts CLEP credits...but if some of those credits are in your MAJOR they might not allow you to use them to fulfill major requirements.</p>

<p>Depending on your major, you may find that using the CLEP credits does not adequately prepare you for upper class courses in your major. </p>

<p>Don't forget to include housing/food/utilities/transportation, books etc in your expenses...that could easily double your costs....or more.</p>

<p>If you become a resident of FL and your parents live elsewhere, you will not be able to stay on their health insurance, or car insurance policies. Add those to your expense tab too.</p>

<p>^^^This is correct. As a dependant, your residency is determined by where your parents maintain residency. Florida has very strict guidelines for establishing residency for in-state tuition and just living here for a year will not necessarily meet the criteria.</p>

<p>Seems like the OP was just using the Florida school as an example -- there are several ways to earn a college degree for very little money: community college, merit aid at 3rd/4th tier schools, commuting, AP/IB/CLEP/Dual Enrollment, summer classes, etc.</p>

<p>The problem with this approach is that it requires a focus on academics over college life -- and it also requires that focus, advance planning and follow-through over a period of year. Most 17/18/19 year old aren't mature enough and/or don't want that type of experience.</p>