Posted at 10:00 AM on January, 21 2017
Getting a fully accredited US college degree does not have to be expensive. In fact, if you have a small part-time job for a minimum hourly wage, that money would be sufficient to pay for your college.
Surprised? Well, get used to it, it is very much possible, and no, it is not magic!!
Now let's do the math.
The federal minimum hourly wage and even across US states, the lowest hourly wage is $7.25 as of 2017. So, if you worked for 4 hours a day just Monday to Friday, for each month you would make on an average $580. This works out to $3480 for 6 months or $6960/yr. And if you are fortunate enough to be able to live with your parents or family for your food, clothing and shelter, then all of this money from the part-time job can go towards your college degree! Most community colleges across California cost about $6000 for completing a two-year associate degree, which comes down to $250/month. If you looked hard enough, you can also find a number of public US colleges where your Bachelor’s degree can completed for an average of about $500/month. If these college degrees are undertaken in states with very low cost-of-living, such a college education can be completed by a student without even relying on family for food, clothing or shelter.
Now what if you completed your associates’ degree at a community college, and then earned the rest of your college credits by writing CLEP/DSST exams? There are many colleges that grant college credits from CLEP/DSST exams. There are even some colleges that allow 50% to 100% of the credits for a Bachelor's degree to be earned via CLEP/DSST. These exams can be taken from anywhere no matter which US state you live in. Or if you live in a foreign country, there are several countries that proctor CLEP tests, or you could get a test center to start offering proctoring for CLEP tests where you live. The exam registration for CLEP is around $80, with say another $20 for the exam proctoring, another $100 for books and guides. Each CLEP test can be used to acquire a minimum of 3 college credits, some tests offer more credits than that. This brings down the cost for each college credit to $66.67 and is one of the cheapest ways to earn college credits! In case you are able to finish your entire college degree via CLEP/DSST exams, this would bring down the cost for a four year Bachelor’s degree to about $8000!! If you were to complete 3 credits each month for 10 months per year, with a 2 month summer break, you would still be able to complete your 4 year degree for a cost of $200 per month for CLEP/DSST.
Let us now compare the cost for CLEP exams with an above-average fulltime university education. For instance, University of California in Santa Barbara charges about $14,000 for a term for tuition and all other related college costs. With 3 terms per year, this comes to about $42000 per year. Also, on an average, I have found the per-credit cost at most brick-and-mortar fulltime colleges to be atleast a minimum of $400, which comes to $48000 for the 120 credits that are required for most Bachelor’s degrees. In addition to this, there would be other supplementary college costs and even more costs related to housing and food. Fortunate students would get some form of financial aid, but the aid only covers only a small portion of the student’s overall costs forcing them to take student loans. Student loans are real killers they chase students into financial misery for decades even after they successfully complete college.
A key aspect of most $40000 per year colleges is their sprawling campus across many acres! Many people naturally equate physical campus aesthetics with increased educational quality, but the fact is that there is often no correlation between education quality and campus beautification! But since such facilities do tend to carry a high cost for construction, this expense is directly passed on to the hapless students themselves! In this way, many colleges charge students a heavy premium for their almost resort-like college campuses, which add no significant value to their education.
One important way to expedite your college degree completion and simultaneously reduce college costs is by leveraging all your prior learning! These need not necessarily be prior college courses, they can relate to your previous work experience, or volunteering experience, or even any serious hobbies which you can substantiate with some documentation. There are several colleges out there that award credits for such life experiences! Usually each college or their evaluation agency has a specific methodology which they use for evaluating the life experience for equivalent college-level learning. The assessment generally tends to take several months as it is quite a tedious process, with the reward upon its conclusion of equivalent college credits on your college transcript. This process can often cut-down the cost of your college degree by 50% or so, depending on the amount and content of your prior experience.
These thrifty college strategies are almost never published in the popular media, and the $40,000 colleges certainly do not want you to know these strategies even exist! If you are interested in knowing more about these time-tested yet largely unused cost saving strategies and colleges that provide these opportunities for college credits to their students, check out our latest eBook. We guarantee you will find your college experience very affordable and rewarding if you use the techniques mentioned in this eBook.