Friday, January 11, 2013

Getting Four Years of College, But Paying a Lot Less

In snooping around for a cheaper college education, sometimes stuff is hiding in plain sight.  There's a real problem with debt run up to get a four-year degree, and the impact it leaves on the debtor's lives.  While I've written about student loans and possible remedies for them, another path is to not dig that debt hole. 

The Ohio Board of Regents website devotes a whole page to low-cost pathways to getting a four year degree in Ohio through community college/university partnerships, in which universities accept all the credits gained through less expensive community colleges.  And if you are a veteran, many colleges now accept military experience as university credit.  On this page, you can find out what military experience transfers directly to college credit for participating universities around the country, and what previous college classes will be credited with at participating colleges. In fact, there's a page that Ohio has a page dedicated to high school students which can tell you what your advanced placement test exams translate into (credit and class-wise) among the public colleges and universities in the state system.  There's also a page to convert high school career/technical courses to credit, and college-to-college credit (within the state of Ohio).  There's lots of ways to get a four year degree without four years of major college debt.

Check out your own state's department of higher education for more information on your own state.  Contact the school you want to attend to see what classes you can "test out of" with advanced placement testing.  If you are a veteran, check your university for the office of veteran's support and resources.  While all universities are different in what they accept and credit, the American Council on Education has recommendations for military experience credit, and it might give you ideas of what to expect.

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