Mapping Your Education

While attending a college or university may be expensive, there are several different ways you can reduce the overall cost of higher education.

Choose an educational institution wisely.
•Evaluate the costs of public vs. private, two-year vs. four-year, in-state vs. out-of-state schools
•Take general education classes at a local state or community college
• Research graduation rates, job placement rates, and average amounts of loans borrowed from the colleges you are looking at.

Plan how you will pay for college.
-Save for college
-Use education loyalty and affinity programs
-Explore financial aid options
-Claim tax credits and deductions for education

Plan to graduate on time (within four years)
-Money is time – The longer you take the higher the cost in tuition, time, and resources, along with a delay in earning power.
-Research schools that offer accelerated programs – students should seek programs of study that will allow degree attainment in the shortest time possible.

Take accelerated coursework/curriculum
-Advanced Placement classes prepare students with the possibility of earning academic scholarships and specific scholarships in certain fields of study: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
-College Level Examinations Programs (CLEP) allows students to earn credit if they demonstrate proficiency in college courses.
-International Baccalaureate degrees could possible equate to college credit

Work outside of the classroom
-Helps build professional network and professional references
-Helps earn money for college expenses
-Federal work-study programs
-Part-time employment
-Summer jobs
-Internships
-Provides opportunities for full-time employment after graduation
-Helps prioritize your time for classes, studying, and free time

Develop a spending plan
Develop a spending plan, or budget, and develop long-term and short-term goals for the money that you earn or any excess financial aid funds that may be released to you.

Check out Mapping Your Future website for more information.