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How to Hack College

Most of us have adopted the idea that in order to be successful, one will have a higher chance of gaining success by achieving a college degree. If one continues to pursue additional degrees the rate of success increases. While for some this may be true, taking that route can drive many people into long-term financial strife attempting to achieve this goal. The cost of higher education continues to increase with an average cost of college tuition in the 2019-2020 school year to be $10, 116 up to $36, 801 for a private institution. As the ideas remain the same, the methods to pay for them are also successfully leading people further from financial success at a high rate.

A recent story developed detailing a boy who graduated college at 9 years old. This only shows how motivated much younger students want a shot at reaching their degrees against many odds. From a chance to fast track success to saving thousands of dollars, there are nationally-accepted methods to do just that. Below are 6 approaches that can allow you to hack your college education.

Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment is a national program that allows students as young as in 7th grade to take college courses for free or at a reduced price. This option can drastically reduce or eliminate a families education cost and give a student a great start to pursue their own college dreams without debt.

Students can enroll in college while still in middle or high school, while replacing their classes for college classes and receive dual credit. Students can take as few as one college class all the way up to 120 total college credits to receive a bachelor’s degree. Check out more about what is dual enrollment and if you qualify.

Advanced Placement (A.P.)

Advanced Placement is provided by most high schools as an advanced class of the College Board, A.P. is a course that a college can possibly give college credit to when they apply. Although the acceptance from the school is not guaranteed, the student must pass the corresponding end of year exam. Currently, each exam costs approximately $94, which is less expensive than a college class, but students must be sure that it will attribute credit in your future college.

International Baccalaureate (I.B.)

I.B. is an education foundation that grants institutions access to provide the international diploma. Students can be enrolled in the I.B. Diploma program from an accredited high school, which a college will sometimes provide college credit. The cost of the program is currently approximately $172 as an annual registration fee and approximately $119 for each exam, which is more affordable than a college class as long as it will count as a transfer credit into a student’s major.

Find out more about if the I.B. program is for you.

Dante's Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)

DSST is a credit-by-exam program allowing a student to acquire college credit by taking and passing the exam. They have exams to satisfy many courses, like Business Mathematics, Personal Finance, Humanities, Physical Science, Criminal Justice, etc.

If a student decides to schedule an exam, studying for the course to pass the exam is highly important to get the credit. Accepted by over 1,900 institutions, DSST exams cost approximately $85 comparable to the cost of college tuition. Students can take these tests while enrolled in a four-year university to speed up miscellaneous classes needed to graduate in your free time.

College-Level Examination Program

In 1967, CLEP was formed for adult learners and military members to earn degrees for an affordable price while they still tend to their jobs and families. Now, the exams are offered through the College Board as a benefit to everyone, including traditional students. CLEP allows students to earn college credit by taking an exam for a specific course.

The student must ensure that the student’s future university will accept CLEP as well as DSST exams, before enrolling in payment. With thirty-four possible exams to choose from, each exam costs approximately $89 in addition to the study material.

Summer Semester College Registration

While fall and spring semester commences over sixteen weeks each, Summer semester is offered over eleven weeks allowing the option of a full schedule of twelve credit hours or more. Depending on the school, some institutions offer a significant discount per credit hour for summer classes because fewer students attend classes.

College does not have to be a set four to five year schedule after high school. Students can tackle it while in middle school, high school or over the summer. If you could save up to $40,000 on your college education, would you do it?


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