If you want to save money on tuition, one key tactic is to complete college in three years, rather than four. Last year, the average tuition rates at a public university were over $8,000 per year. If you add to that room and board, the total jumps to over $20,000 per year. By completing your studies in just three years you’ll save 25% off your total tuition costs. This is a substantial savings because you don’t know how high tuition rates will get by the time you’re in your last year in college.
In order to graduate college early you need to plan early. Getting good grades during your freshman, sophomore and junior years of high school is imperative. By getting good grades you are preparing yourself to handle a college workload earlier than most other students. By getting good grades you will also be placed in classes that will better prepare you for college. The friends you meet in those classes will also be a positive influence for you and they might be interested in trying to complete college in less time too.
Take AP Courses
There are a variety of classes that are available. For example, you can take AP Chemistry, AP Calculus and AP English. At the end of the year, you will take an AP exam. If you end up getting a high score on an AP exam you could skip taking an introductory course in college. For example, if you aced the AP Physics exam you won’t need to take Physics 1A/1B. As a freshman you’ll be taking 2A/2B with college sophomores.
Go To Community College
You can’t expect to load four years worth of a college education into three years. So the most logical thing to do is to begin your college education while still in high school. If you’re planning on going to a university, odds are high school courses do not challenge you. Rather than wasting your time as a high school senior breezing through your courses, go to a community college after school. Sure, sports and band may be important to you, but getting a head start on college is by far more important in the long run. You don’t have to go overboard either, just take one class your first semester, a second class in your second semester, then take another course in the summer. When you add these three completed courses with your AP credits, you are setting yourself up to take sophomore classes in just your first year of college.
If you follow these steps while you’re still in high school, it is possible to knock off one year of college and end up completing your college education in just three years.