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Cheapen Your College, Not Your Education
By: Gen and Kelly Tanabe

Save money with a reciprocity agreement.

Many state university systems have buddied up with neighboring state university systems to grant in-state tuition at each other's schools. These are known as reciprocity agreements and can save you a ton of money. Reciprocity usually exists with neighboring states. Contact the office of admission at the colleges you want to attend to see if there are discounts, including reciprocal in-state tuition rates.

Spend your money on graduate school rather than giving it all to your undergraduate college.

If you are planning to get a graduate or professional degree, consider going to a cheap college and save your money for graduate school. For example, let's say that you want to be a doctor. You're not going to learn much about brain surgery during your undergraduate years. So why go to an expensive undergraduate college when you can go to a less expensive alternative? Then, if you want to attend the most elite (and expensive) medical school, you will have saved yourself a few clams.

Work and learn through cooperative education programs.

Would you like to make college more affordable while gaining valuable work experience? Cooperative education programs, known as "co-ops", allow you to work and go to school at the same time. Plus, cooperative education gives you the benefits of having work experience before you graduate and earn a paycheck without missing out on the college experience.

Co-ops work because companies, governments and non-profit organizations agree to offer real jobs to students. Job assignments are managed by the college, and students are matched with jobs that fit their major or are in career areas that they wish to explore. Each year more than 50,000 employers hire college co-op students in nearly every field of work. The best way to learn more about co-op programs is to speak to the cooperative education office at the college you are attending or plan to attend. Also visit the web site of the National Commission for Cooperative Education at to learn more about co-op education.

Take an accelerated degree program.

If you can't increase the amount of money you have, then the only way to decrease your college costs is to lower the price. One way to do this is to finish early. If you can graduate a semester sooner, that's one less semester that you'll have to pay for. Check to see if your college or the colleges you are applying to offer an accelerated degree program. Look for one that allows you to graduate in three years instead of four. For example, through Mississippi College's Accelerated Degree Program, you can earn 30 or more hours a year toward your major in business administration, accounting or marketing by attending eight-week sessions that meet twice per week. This shaves off time and therefore money from the cost of your degree.

About the Author

Gen and Kelly Tanabe
Founders of SuperCollege and authors of 13 books on college planning.

1001 Ways to Pay for College

By: Gen & Kelly Tanabe
Need money for college? Stressed over how to pay the next tuition bill? Searching for a way to get a degree without going broke? Whether you need a full-tuition scholarship or a little extra cash to make ends meet, 1001 Ways to Pay for College provides students and parents with the answers.

Learn More

The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2021

By: Gen & Kelly Tanabe
The goal of The Ultimate Scholarship Book is simple: To help you find free money. Inside you'll find the most up-to-date and comprehensive listing of more than 1.5 million awards. An easy-to-use index makes finding the right scholarships ridiculously quick. And it wouldn't be the Ultimate book without a section of little known insider tips and strategies that show you how to actually win the scholarships you find!

Learn More