The following is a guest post from DSST
You may be wondering how you can save extra money when it comes to your college tuition or higher education classes. With the inclusion of extra expenses and fees, such as transportation and books, many students and parents have been seeking out alternative solutions to ease financial woes. One popular method that is catching on is online learning and MOOCs (massive open online courses). Several institutions, from private universities to small liberal arts colleges, are offering online and open courses of their classes so that anyone, from a member of the public to a student, can gain access to higher education and earn college credits.
A more applicable method for cutting college costs is testing out of courses. By testing out with successful AP scores in high school or by earning credit by examination, you can start school with college credits under your belt and even have the option of graduating earlier. In the long run, that’s a lot of money saved.
Still not convinced? Here’s a breakdown of what you could potentially save:
According to College Board, the average cost of tuition for an out-of-state resident at a four-year public university for the 2013-14 academic year is $22,826.
On average, most students need 120 credits to graduate college and to receive a Bachelor’s degree. That’s 30 credit hours each year or roughly 15 credit hours a semester (about four to five classes).
So, one credit hour is equal to $22,826 / 30 credit hours = $760 per credit hour.
That means each 3-credit course you take will cost you about $2,282, or a total of $11,410 for one semester with 5 3-credit classes.
Now, imagine if you substituted these traditional courses with the following DSST exams during your fall semester in order to knock out some core requirements.
- Principles of Statistics
- Intro to World Religions
- The Civil War and Reconstruction
- Physical Geology
Each of these exams, which can award a student 3 college credits, costs $80 each. That totals to $400 for 15 credits, saving you $11,010.
That’s enough to buy a pre-owned car, pay off some student loans, or even cover a year’s worth of rent for an apartment!
In addition to the amount of money you will have saved, earning credit by examination will also grant you more free time in your schedule to take courses you are actually interested in, or to focus on classes that may be more challenging to handle with a full course load. It also allows you the flexibility to take courses when you want to, and when you’re ready. If you haven’t considered testing as a means of reducing college expenses, then take the time to research the multitude of benefits it could offer you.