How to Save 20% or More on Your Kid’s College Education

This could possibly be the best advice about college you’ll read this week.
One of the easiest ways for you to reduce the cost of college is to simply pay for fewer years.

Like, paying for 4 years instead of 5.

Put another way, one less year of paying for college is a 20% decrease in total costs without factoring in inflation.  That is a huge savings!  Yet so many families are overpaying because they’re not taking the necessary steps to avoid the dreaded extra year of college.

A recent article from the CollegeBoard gives a pretty good case as to how big of a problem “delayed graduation” as the article calls it is.

And it also gives some ideas about how to avoid this money sucking problem.

Here here are a couple great little blurbs from the article…

“The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)…found that only 36 percent of students graduate from college within four years.”

In other words, that means that nearly 64% of parents, just like you, will overpay for college! I say nearly because some degrees and unavoidable circumstances might require more than 4 years.

“According to the U.S. Department of Education, nearly 60 percent of undergraduates attend more than one institution. While there are many good reasons to transfer, care should be taken to plan ahead.”

For instance, a great deal of effort should be made prior to your child going to college figuring out the best college.  There are really three major factors that should go into the college decision.

Is the college a great fit for your child

  1. Academically
  2. Financially
  3. Socially

If anyone of these three factors is not met, your child may end up transferring.  Which in turn pushes back graduation.  And ends up costing you and your child more money.

The way to head this problem off is to make sure you and your child are setting aside plenty of hours to get this leg work done before  the college application process even starts.

You have two options to get this pre-college search work done. Do the research on your own. Or get help from a qualified professional to guide you in your college decision making process.

“The National Research Center for College and University Admissions estimates that over half of students switch majors at least once. Although college should be a time of exploration, changing majors as a junior or senior or switching numerous times can cause students to fall behind schedule when it comes to completing required courses.”

Until next time,

Scott Weingold
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Anna Margaret BinderMay 7th, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Students can begin to collect credits in High School through dual enrollment, AP or summer programs. Some colleges have much more cumbersome core or gen ed requirements, while others emphasize academic freedom and may require only a freshman seminar, and a QR and/or foreign language. Consider CLEP testing as well.

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Editor's Note: Scott Weingold has been ranked the #1 “College Financial Aid Expert Worth Knowing About” in the entire country by  He has co-authored the book, “The Real Secret To Paying For College. The Insider’s Guide To Sending Your Child To College – Without Spending Your Life’s Savings.” Scott also publishes a popular free online newsletter, “College Funding Made Simple" which reveals insider’s tips, methods, and strategies for beating the high cost of college.

Scott is the co-founder and a principal of the widely renown College Planning Network, LLC – the nation’s largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid planning firm. CPN is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of College Funding Advisors, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Scott, along with his college funding advisory team, helps thousands of families throughout the country with their college planning needs and offers a series of free educational webinars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He's been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Yahoo News,, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.  Scott has published numerous articles and is a professional speaker who has addressed thousands of audiences online and offline throughout the United States.  His actionable insights and candid, open approach have earned him & his team numerous media interviews, citations, and speaking opportunities, and his free online video workshop is one of the Internet’s most widely viewed pieces in the college funding space.