Tuition is the usually your highest expense of college and I try to do anything to make it cheaper. I am going to tell you how to make it cheaper without scholarships or tuition assistance. Here are 5 ways to saving money on tuition.
First, understand how tuition at your school works.
Just an understanding of what they charge you and why, could help you save money on your tuition. How they charge you for tuition at most schools are probably the same, but some may be different. Most schools around my area are relatively the same.
Load up the Credit Hours
Obviously the sooner you get out of college, the more you will save. Just cutting out 1 semester can save over 5 grand. Loading up the credit hours also saves money because the more credits you take, the cheaper it gets. If you are not full time, (at our school, under 12 credit hours) you will pay more per credit hour than if you are full time.
For example, where I go to school, it is around $335 per credit hour for anything under 12 credit hours and $318 for anything over 16 credit hours. So the more credit hours you take, the cheaper tuition gets.
Don’t Waste Credits
Usually there is a range of credits that cost the same. For example, if I take 12 credits it cost the same as if I take 16 at a university near me. In this case, I would always try to get 16 credit hours because then 4 of them are “free.” If I am going to pay $4000 for 12-16 credit hours, why not take 16?
For example, if I take 16 credit hours for two semesters, it will be about $8000 in tuition. If I take 13 credit hours one semester and 19 the next, it will be around $4000+4660= $8660. This is $660 more for the same amount of credit hours!!!
Check Summer Classes Cost
Some people take a few classes in the summer or a different semester to try to get ahead or catch up. This is a good idea, but you will sometimes pay more per credit hour. Some schools will not have any general fees if you don’t take over 6 credit though, so that can save you money. Without paying general fees, it might end up saving you money to take a class in the summer.
Look Over General Fees
General fees cost me around 26% of my bill for the semester. If there is anyway to reduce them, you should. General fees include library fees, infrastructure fees, green fees, and so on.
Most general fees are based on the credit hours you take. General fees sometimes stop after you are a full time student. So whether I am taking 12 or 24 credit hours, the general fees may be the same.
Take Some Classes at Community Colleges
Taking classes online at other schools can save you a good amount of money. Taking classes at a community college could cut your tuition in half.
Be careful though. Talk to someone in your college and make sure the credits will count before you waste money. Usually the grade doesn’t transfer either, so you may not have to strive for that A if you don’t want to. If it doesn’t count, why waste your time.
Difference Between 11 and 20 Credit Hours
So if I take 11 credit hours at my school, it will cost around $3700 for tuition. This is a little over $336 per credit hour. If I take 20, (can be very hard) it will cost around $5300 for tuition and this averages out to $265 a credit hour. You are now saving $70 per credit hour in just tuition.
Tuition and General Fees
If I were to take 11 credit hours, it would cost me around $4827 with tuition and general fees. This comes out to $438 per credit hour. If I were to take 20 credit hours, it would cost $6727. This is $336 per credit hour. I am saving almost $100 per credit hour by taking 20 credits a semester vs 11 credits.
Every school should have a page with all the information for your particular college. Hopefully this helps save you some money. Good luck!
If you have any questions or don’t understand something, feel free to comment below!