As high school students finish applications, parents are scratching their heads wondering how they’re going to pay for college. It is now commonplace to see tuition sticker prices of $50,000 for private institutions and upwards of $25,000 at public universities. Factor in room and board and course materials, and there are few examples where students can walk away with a bachelor’s degree for under $100,000.
The story is somber. From 2002-12, average tuition and fees rose 89 percent. Student debt has tripled since 2004, and has now surpassed the amount of credit card debt. With only 58.6 percent of students graduating with a bachelor’s degree in six years and 31 percent with an associate’s degree in three years, nearly half of all students will wind up in debt with no degree.
The good news is that there are ways to reduce the cost of attending college while still earning a top degree. For parents and students fretting over how to foot the tuition bill, here are three ways to reduce costs today.