Saving on College Tuition

Parents looking forward to overwhelming college tuition bills may be able to catch a break by doing research into some of the nation’s low- and no-tuition colleges.

Parents looking forward to overwhelming college tuition bills may be able to catch a break by doing research into some of the nation’s low- and no-tuition colleges. In some cases, students at these colleges get a free pass on tuition, in others there are generous scholarships available. For example, students at one of the country’s seven work colleges get a significant discount on tuition and sometimes a full scholarship in exchange for work at a part-time job. When they graduate, students have a degree, four years of practical work experience, and a significantly lower debt load than most graduates.

Another way to save on college costs is to look into one of the several schools across the country that have frozen or even cut their tuition costs. Tuition cuts often come with corresponding cuts in financial aid, but tuition freezes, on the other hand, can save you several thousand dollars over four years of college. There are also colleges that offer fixed-rate tuition plans that allow incoming students to lock in tuition at current levels for up to five years. To get a list of these colleges, go Finaid.org; for more information on the nation’s work colleges, go to Workcolleges.org.

A student who is admitted into one of the five service academies gets a full free ride for both tuition and room and board. In addition to West Point, Annapolis, and the Air Force Academy, the service academies also include the Coast Guard Academy and the Merchant Marine Academy. Academy life can be tough, though, and graduates must serve several years in a mandatory active-duty stint after graduation.