You Can Save Big Bucks On College Tuition

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Anyone who has opened up their investment account statement since the stock market nose-dived earlier this fall has come face to face with a grim reality: monies saved for retirement, college, and other life events has suddenly shrunk, forcing investors to come to grips with these changes.

college studentWorse, is the family who has a high school senior who is planning to attend college next fall. With the recession expected to last well into 2009, how can lost funds be recouped? In most cases that won’t happen as there simply is not enough time.

During these times it takes some thinking outside of the box to help you save money on college tuition and related costs. The following tips can help you do just that:

Apply For Aid – You may not have been eligible for aid before the stock market crash, but thanks to a shrunken net worth, your family could find that things have changed in your favor. Fill out a Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA) to see just how much aid is available to you.

Public v. Private – Your son or daughter may be interested in Ivy U. but have them apply to State U. too even if they have no plans to attend. Pick schools that are rivals (for example private school Duke and public school UNC) and the private school could offer to you a better discount. They’ll know about your application to the public school when they see this information on your aid application – many schools hate to lose good athletes or students to competing universities.

Just Ask – You may not qualify for assistance, but you can still get a break if you ask for one. Schools love to attract top students and your son or daughter could receive a break even if your family’s income is high.

Play The Race/Ethnic/Gender Card —  It is no secret that colleges and universities value diversity. No school wants to be dominated by a specific race, ethnic group or gender and will often fatten their aid package to attract students who can help diversity their student body. Yes, even white males can get help if the school they are interested in attending is female dominated.

Go Elsewhere – Your son or daughter may have his/her heart set on a top notch local university that will set you back more than $30K per year simply because your region (the northeast) has the most expensive schools in the nation. Lots of west coast and mid American universities offer comparable educational opportunities for much less money. Perhaps expanding his or her horizons will do your child much good while also preserving your wallet!

Finally, if it turns out that you are dissatisfied with the aid package offered by the school, ask for an appeal. You may have to supply award package information from other schools in order to gain a hearing, but if that is what it takes to save money while ensuring your child gets to go to school there, then by all means go for it!

Adv. — Is your family experiencing a financial shortfall this academic year? Scholarships, grants, 529 money, and part time work may not be enough. Learn about private student loans by visiting SayStudent.com, your portal for college financial assistance. We have free tools for your download and updated information about current college financing requirements.

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Categories: College Budgeting, Finance