As a college graduate with enormous student loan debt, one of my personal priorities as a cost-efficient young professional is to enlighten my family and friends in college about ways to save money while seeking higher education.
One proven method to reduce the amount of money and length of time you spend in college is to complete Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high school.
Completing Advanced Placement courses during high school provides five major benefits in college including:
- Starting college with as many as 23 credits toward graduation
- Graduating college faster due to credits earned in high school
- Saving money on tuition due to the free credits you earned from AP courses
- Taking upper level courses faster due to completed prerequisites
- Taking a semester to study abroad with the time you save
Yet, many students are unaware of the vast benefits of taking AP courses in high school and simply begin look for money-saving opportunities during college.
Luckily for these students, there is a growing trend among many colleges and universities that will help students save as much as 25% off your total college tuition!
Three-year degree programs in colleges and universities have experienced a recent upswing that was spurred by the recession and anxieties regarding insurmountable college debt.
A dozen recent graduates from Hartwick College in New York became the first students to complete Hartwick’s 3-year degree program. One student in particular, Samantha Hart, earned 23 college credits in high school through AP courses and opted to take an internship offer with her time saved, that will potentially lead to a full-time job offer.
On the heels of the success of the 3-year degree program at Hartwick College, legislation in Washington and Rhode Island has encouraged public universities to acquire three-year degree options.
Later this fall, three more universities will reportedly add a three-year degree option including:
- University of Missouri
- Wesleyan University (Middletown, Conn.)
- Minnesota State University
While some students opt to add a second major or second minor instead of graduate early, it’s definitely not the most popular route for most students who start college with AP credits.
While inflation seems to penetrate every sector of the economy today, a 25% decrease in college tuition is a deal many can’t afford to pass up.
Call your prospective college or university today and find out if a 3-year degree program will be offered or how you can turn your high school AP credits into college savings.