How can I lower tuition costs?

The average cost of tuition and fees for the 2020-21 college school year was $41,411. So it’s no surprise that students and parents are searching for ways to lower tuition costs. But after filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), they don’t know where else to turn.

Luckily, we have some tips for students to help lower tuition costs and reduce the amount of student debt they take on.

Start early! Take advantage of advanced classes in high school.

In high school, students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement (AP) classes. These college-level classes satisfy both high school and college requirements. You’ll be able to get ahead — graduating high school with some college credits and not having to pay high college tuition fees to earn them!

See if your college has course competency exams.

Some schools give students the option to take course competency exams. What does this mean? Well, it means that students can take an exam to prove their knowledge of core subjects. Then, if they pass, they’ll receive credits for the classes without having to take them.

Not only is this an effective way to lower tuition costs, but it can also help you complete your graduation requirements more quickly.

Consider attending community college first.

Attending community college before transferring to a university or 4-year college is a great way to lower tuition costs. Students can take general education classes or even complete their associate’s degree before transferring, which will help you save thousands of dollars.

Shop around before committing to anything!

When starting college, it can be tempting to move into the most expensive dorm on campus or get the top meal plan. But bigger isn’t always better. Speaking from personal experience, I lived in the oldest dorm on campus, we had community restrooms and the amenities left a lot to be desired. But I didn’t care. I was out on my own for the first time and had the most amazing experiences.

By opting to live in a less expensive dorm and choosing a meal plan wisely, you’ll be able to significantly lower tuition costs without sacrificing the quintessential college experience.

Ask the financial aid office about work-study opportunities.

Many schools offer work-study programs and/or internships that might not only count for credits but also help lower your tuition costs. Work-study programs are agreements between students and the school where a pre-determined salary/wage for hours worked is applied directly towards tuition.

Work-Study means that you commit to working a certain number of hours on campus in accordance with your financial aid package. The school will apply the credits directly to your account, which results in lowering your tuition.

These tips and resources have proven successful in helping college students everywhere lower their tuition costs. If you have questions, we’re always here to help. You can email us at or text us at (347) 690-7886. Good luck!