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I recently dove into previewing a variety of colleges through their respective websites and ultimately came away discouraged that most of the colleges, which are not even ivy league, would cost over 20k a year for dorm+tuition per child, even after subtracting automatic institutional merit-based scholarships.  I looked at over 30 different schools. In order to compete for the largest scholarships at most institutions, it seems the SAT score needs to be higher than 1400 (I still don't know my daughter's score).  My children seem above average but not necessarily in the highest accolade category.  I have three children, so that would cost us 240k altogether.  I'm surprised that most homeschoolers can afford these high fees.  Excluding federal aid, the maximum amount being about 5k a year, and loans, which I will not procure, the costs seem prohibitive. 

 

1. Where are most homeschoolers sending their kids to school? 

 

2. In regards to college-bound homeschoolers, are most of them living at home after graduating and commuting to local schools in order to reduce costs?

 

3. My daughter is considering taking a GAP year after her senior year; theoretically, could she study for more AP courses through Modern States during that year and take more AP exams to help reduce her college credit requirements?

 

Thank you in advance for your nuggets of wisdom.

 

Marsha

 

Edited by SpringTulip
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I would recommend that you start reading through the College Board on this forum. It's a wealth of information and can provide a feel for what homeschoolers are doing for college. 

 

As for your specific questions: 

 

1. There is a college acceptance thread each year on the college board. Every year the acceptances run the gamut from local community colleges to Ivy League. It's exciting to see the diversity of schools homeschoolers apply and are accepted to. 

 

2. We opted to have ds live at home and commute to reduce cost, however, many don't. You'll see lots of discussions about kids being accepted locally, regionally, across the country, and even in some cases in other countries. Again, it depends upon the student and the individual family situation, some receive need based aid, some merit aid, and some are full pay.

 

3. I'm not well-versed on gap years, but I'm sure someone who is will chime in. 

 

 

This board is a wealth of information and was especially helpful when I started looking at college admissions. 

 

 

 

 

I recently dove into previewing a variety of colleges through their respective websites and ultimately came away discouraged that most of the colleges, which are not even ivy league, would cost over 20k a year for dorm+tuition per child, even after subtracting automatic institutional merit-based scholarships.  I looked at over 30 different schools. In order to compete for the largest scholarships at most institutions, it seems the SAT score needs to be higher than 1400 (I still don't know my daughter's score).  My children seem above average but not necessarily in the highest accolade category.  I have three children, so that would cost us 240k altogether.  I'm surprised that most homeschoolers can afford these high fees.  Excluding federal aid, the maximum amount being about 5k a year, and loans, which I will not procure, the costs seem prohibitive. 

 

1. Where are most homeschoolers sending their kids to school? 

 

2. In regards to college-bound homeschoolers, are most of them living at home after graduating and commuting to local schools in order to reduce costs?

 

3. My daughter is considering taking a GAP year after her senior year; theoretically, could she study for more AP courses through Modern States during that year and take more AP exams to help reduce her college credit requirements?

 

Thank you in advance for your nuggets of wisdom.

 

Marsha

 

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Yes, we do not qualify for any aid, even in the forms of loans.  We have reorganized our entire budget to save for college.  Even still, both of our kids will have to take 2 years at community college.  One of our kids has a very expensive hobby so she will have to commute to the local University and live at home if she wants to continue that.  

 

What bothers me is, there's a threshold underneath us, where I wonder, what parents will do because it wouldn't be enough to save up in a hurry like we are, but they still wouldn't qualify for Federal Loans. I really can't understand what kids in those situations would do.  They might have parents like us, who used to qualify and planned to rely on that, and then suddenly don't qualify..

 

Anyway, our answer is to utilize community college, and also both of our kids will be asked to work summer jobs and save up about 10k for one and 3k for the other....

 

And I will go back to work, as well.  Although I will make almost nothing since it's taxed so high.  But, I figure almost nothing is more than nothing 

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For our first two kids we have made it work piecing things together. They start out applying to schools where they get automatic merit aid for ACT scores/GPA. These are not highly ranked schools but schools giving aid for scores in the 29-32 range. They take the federal student (not parent) loans and this leaves them with a balance they can pay or nearly pay with summer earnings. They do not take cars to campus and live in the least expensive dorms. Dh and I help some (so far less than what we have spent on them as high school students with homeschool/dual enrollment/extracurricular activity expenses).

 

Through working together and a combination of scholarships/work/frugal living my first two kids have made it work to live away from home. They are not attending dream schools or highly ranked schools.

Edited by teachermom2834
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Welcome! I see by your post count that you are new. :)

 

1. Where are most homeschoolers sending their kids to school? 

 

1. I can only speak about what the homeschoolers in my city are doing:

 

a. Our DS#1 did, and many of the local homeschoolers in our big homeschool group do, the "2+2 option" -- 2 years of gen. ed credits at the MUCH cheaper local community college and then transfer to an in-state university and finish the 4-year degree.

 

b. I know several local homeschoolers who did the at-home/all-distance degree through College Plus (now Lumerit). (At the time, this ran them around $13,000-16,000 to earn a 4-year Bachelor degree in 2-3 years. Lumerit is now a good $25,000 total for finishing a 4-year degree in 2 years, so less of a "deal" than it was just 5-6 years ago. Also note: no federal aid is available for this option.)

 

c. I know 1 local homeschooler currently attending Berea University (a "free tuition college" -- students work part time at the school to pay tuition),

 

d. and his sister was a National Merit scholar (high score in 11th grade on the PSAT test), and landed a full-tuition scholarship to a mid-western university.

 

e. Many local homeschoolers are attending the local university as commuter students while living at home and working part-time, and have partial scholarships or grant aid.

 

f. A number of local homeschoolers go the route of 2-year vocational-tech Associate degree, and work, or go straight to working and are working their way up into the company -- so no 4-year college degree for a number of homeschoolers, as that is a much better fit for many students.

 

 

2. In regards to college-bound homeschoolers, are most of them living at home after graduating and commuting to local schools in order to reduce costs?

 

2. Yes.

 

 

3. My daughter is considering taking a GAP year after her senior year; theoretically, could she study for more AP courses through Modern States during that year and take more AP exams to help reduce her college credit requirements?

 

3. Edited: Check to see if the college has a deadline date prior to the start of college enrollment for acceptance of credit-granting-exams, as some schools do not accept CLEPs for credit towards the degree if taken while enrolled.

 

re: gap year

A gap year comes between high school graduation and college**, and you can NOT take ANY courses at ANY college during that time, or you automatically lose freshman eligibility (which is when you are awarded the most scholarships, for the highest amounts, and the scholarships are usually renewable -- i.e., good for 4 years). Taking ANY class will turn the student into a transfer student, and there are far fewer transfer scholarships offered, usually for a much smaller amount of $$, and usually they are 1-time awards (i.e., not renewable).

 

** = there are some students who take a gap year DURING college, halfway through, but that does not affect freshman eligibility status -- although it could impact other financial awards, so you really need to check the individual college's policies on gap year

 

 

...My children seem above average but not necessarily in the highest accolade category.  I have three children, so that would cost us 240k altogether.  I'm surprised that most homeschoolers can afford these high fees.  Excluding federal aid, the maximum amount being about 5k a year, and loans, which I will not procure, the costs seem prohibitive. 

 

...Thank you in advance for your nuggets of wisdom.

 

Yes, college is through the roof, and no, most homeschoolers I know are NOT paying those "full freight" costs. For more ideas on how alternatives for funding college or reducing college costs, check out threads linked in post #2 of the big pinned thread at the top of this board: "Transcripts...Scholarships/Financial Aid... links to past threads here!" Here are a few to get you started:

 

"High scholarship earners: which test and at which grade did your high schooler take?"

"s/o Cautionary Tale: High Costs of College -- a brainstorm $$ ideas thread!"

"How are YOU managing to pay for college?"

Edited by Lori D.
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Our oldest attends college in Germany where university is tuition free.  We pay his living expenses but he lives with his girlfriend so expenses are shared.  Our second oldest will attend the University of "Enter name of State" which is 15 minutes down the road so there are no room and board costs.  Tuition is about $11,000 per year and he has a partial scholarship.  #3 son will either go there or the Naval Academy if he gets accepted.  Our daughter will attend the local university if she goes to college.  We have saved up a certain amount per child and with the above plans, they all will graduate debt free.

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Thank you for the personal notes.  It's always nice to get such quick answers.

 

Thank you Elegantlion, I'll look at the College Board.

 

Lori, I have interacted on WTM before but not very often, and you've shared other lengthy advice nuggets.  Thank you!  It's interesting that you mentioned about Lumerit because due to a webinar I attended through Lee Binz's website, they have tried to recruit us for their program.  I have not spoken with a representative yet, though.  When I saw the cost, their fees seemed similar to instate tuition, so it made me uncertain about that path; in addition, ultimately, I was worried if my daughter took a few classes through Lumerit that her credits be suitably transferrable.  

 

1. Do you think Lumerit credits are transferrable to a state college?

2. Do you think Lumerit is a good program?

3. Do you think employers would have a high regard for a Lumerit degree?

4. If a student can earn a 4-year program in just 2 years, would that mean it's maybe not as rigorous as a traditional degree? 

 

I'll look at your links.

 

Hi rdj2027,

 

That's fascinating that your son is attending school in Germany.  I was aware of the program and I know of one foreigner who sent her son there for school.  I have always been curious about it, so it would be nice to get more info.  I suspects he speaks German?  How much are living costs typically?  What major did he choose?  

 

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I recently dove into previewing a variety of colleges through their respective websites and ultimately came away discouraged that most of the colleges, which are not even ivy league, would cost over 20k a year for dorm+tuition per child, even after subtracting automatic institutional merit-based scholarships. I looked at over 30 different schools. In order to compete for the largest scholarships at most institutions, it seems the SAT score needs to be higher than 1400 (I still don't know my daughter's score). My children seem above average but not necessarily in the highest accolade category. I have three children, so that would cost us 240k altogether. I'm surprised that most homeschoolers can afford these high fees. Excluding federal aid, the maximum amount being about 5k a year, and loans, which I will not procure, the costs seem prohibitive.

 

1. Where are most homeschoolers sending their kids to school?

 

2. In regards to college-bound homeschoolers, are most of them living at home after graduating and commuting to local schools in order to reduce costs?

 

3. My daughter is considering taking a GAP year after her senior year; theoretically, could she study for more AP courses through Modern States during that year and take more AP exams to help reduce her college credit requirements?

 

Thank you in advance for your nuggets of wisdom.

 

Marsha

Marsha, my two oldest are at the state flagship. Yes, tuition plus room and board is right at $21k.

 

Oldest had a scholarships that covered her tuition and a bit more. She lived at home and worked.

 

Number two - same school. Similar scholarships and grants. Covered tuition. He didn’t apply for scholarships outside of the U. He discovered that was a big mistake, btw and he has since applied for several more. He is also looking at ROTC. He works twelve hours a week. He got $5500 in loans and worked for the rest. We covered his first half of his second semester ($600-$700ish.)

 

We expect the CFA and Eagle Scout scholarships to come through with something. He is heavily involved in Mock Trial And is an Engineering major as well as doing PT a couple times a week with ROTC so he doesn’t want to work next year. I understand but the added pressure this year did push him to apply for more scholarships.

 

For us, because of freshman scholarships, the U was cheaper (over four years) than CC for two and U for two.

 

In Iowa, homeschoolers can dual enroll and have many gen. ed credits paid for through their school district. We’ve been taking advantage of this. My third will start CC credits her junior year, next year.

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I posted this in reply to another thread by accident. I thought I had posted it here.

 

Our kids have 2 options: earn enough merit $$ to attend a college they want** or live at home and commute to the local U.

 

(**Want is defined as having the major they desire and fits most of their general needs at a price we can afford after they receive their merit awards. It is not defined as "the" school they want to attend simply bc they want to attend there.)

 

Our older 5 have all managed to attend colleges that have offered what they have wanted to pursue their goals, though our Aspie we forced to drop out bc we refused to continue to pay (long story, but part of it was based on the fact that he refused to take classes toward a degree and only wanted to take the classes he wanted.) Of the other 4, 3 have lived away from attending 4 yr colleges, and the other lived at home and attended locally for 1 yr of prerequisite courses and then entered an Allied Health program for occupational therapy assistant at a distant CC. (There was only 1 program in our entire state, so we had to pay for housing for her to attend that CC, but that combined was cheaper than tuition at the local U.)

 

Of those 4, one is a chemE, one is an OTA, one is a graduating sr with a physics/math double who will be going to grad school in the fall, and one is a freshman majoring/minoring in business/language areas.

 

Our current 10th grader says she wants to live at home and attend the local U. We'll see if that lasts or not. The 2 younger than her--one wants to be a baker and own her own bakery and the other is only in 2nd.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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Marsha -- I've known many successful people who did their first two years at a junior college. (By successful, I mean making six figures etc.)

 

Not only that, but I talked w/ my niece who graduated from a very prestigious college in DC last May -- and she flat-out told me that she wished she'd gotten her first two years "out of the way" at a junior college for a much, much cheaper price. (Rather than pay top dollar at the fancy school.)

 

I honestly don't know why more people don't use junior colleges.

 

A good friend sent her very bright son to two years at junior college starting when he was 16 -- so he went into his fancy private four-year as a sophmore (having saved a ton).

 

Junior colleges and community colleges are the same thing.

 

I plan to have my boys live at home and start at a local college at 16 (starting small and working up to a full case load).

 

There are ways to do the college thing that are outside of what everyone does. Also google Joanna Nesbit. She writes almost exclusively about saving on college.

 

There are ways to do this that won't leave your daughter with massive loans (which SWB says is not a cool thing at all to do to your kids)!!

 

Alley                Edited: can't spell.

Edited by Alicia64
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Does your state have cheap/reasonable dual enroll options for high schoolers?  It's free here so for kids that are ready, it's a great deal.  Each school is different for transferring dual enroll, CLEP, AP, or something like Lumerit credits (which I'm not familiar with).  You'll need to check individually with each institution.  You can call or e-mail admissions about transferring credits.  State schools are usually easier with transerring credits.  We're not sure how much my son's dual enrollment credits are going to count because of what he wants to do, but given it's free, it's been great for him.  

 

Our state option is closer to 30K with housing, so I'm a bit jealous.   Some privates with good endowments or with merit may come in at a similar cost or cheaper.   You can find the NPC (net price calculator) for each school to see approximately what your prices are going to be based on income, etc.  

 

I am also a huge fan of doing this without taking loans beyond the federal limits.  

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Unless someone does something truly spectacular on the ACTs, our plan is 2 years at the community college down the road and then 2 years at one of the state universities within driving distance of our house.  They can live at home and go to school.

 

I am not interested in having them take out student loans the size of a house payment just so they can say they went to a certain school.  I've posted on here before about my dh.  He and his parents took out massive student loans (like the size of a house).  Those loans can be life-ruining.  He regrets it.  Never in a million years would I want my kids to do that.  They're going to have a hard enough time starting off in life without a giant debt steering every decision they make.  Student loans the size of an average car = Ok.  Student loans the size of a house = no way.

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1. Do you think Lumerit credits are transferrable to a state college?

2. Do you think Lumerit is a good program?

3. Do you think employers would have a high regard for a Lumerit degree?

4. If a student can earn a 4-year program in just 2 years, would that mean it's maybe not as rigorous as a traditional degree? 

 

Not a Lumerit expert (lol), and my scanty knowledge comes from talking with the 2 homeschooling friends whose daughters went through the program back when it was College Plus. :)

 

1.

It would all depend on the state college's policies for transfer credits. My understanding is that the credits for the degree are earned through a combination of CLEP and DSST tests and distance (online) classes, so it would depend on which CLEPs your state college accepts as credits toward a degree program and which are only accepted as "electives". And then it would depend on whether or not the state college accepts courses from other colleges (for transferring credits from the online courses).

 

One thing that I know used to be true when Lumerit was College Plus, but they would work with you about folding in credits earned from dual enrollment, or if you had earned credits from a university. So there might be a possibility of setting up to do some of the initial online classes for a degree with your state university, so then you would know that the credits would be accepted if you ended up switching out of Lumerit and attending the state university. The usual financial pros and cons of coming in as transfer student would then apply.

 

2.

No personal experience to be able to comment. When Lumerit was College Plus, both young ladies I knew who were doing it were very happy with the program. They both highly praised the personal coach, who they both said was the reason they were able to complete the program -- the weekly coach's phone call of encouragement, answering questions, and guiding them through the administrative aspect.

 

I understand that with the name change from College Plus to Lumerit, there was also a change in business emphasis -- that College Plus was specifically about being the go-between to match up students with partner colleges and how to accomplish a degree in a shorter period of time through tests and distance courses. Now it appears to also be a clearinghouse working with colleges to match up their online courses with students. Here's Lumerit's "about us" statement.

 

3.

Again, not a question I can answer.

 

One slight misconception that can be cleared up, though: the degree is awarded through a partner college, not by Lumerit, which is the company you pay to do all the admin. and organizing of lining up the combination of CLEPs and online classes that will be accepted by the partner college as meeting their degree requirements. It all depends what field you are going in to. So the two young ladies I know who earned their degrees through College Plus (what Lumerit formerly was named), actually were awarded their BS in Science and BA in English through the partner college of Thomas Edison College.

 

I imagine that it depends on the field you're going into (obviously Engineering and Medicine are fields that do NOT work well with this type of degree), but I doubt that the majority of employers for jobs in business, education, liberal arts, etc., know or care whether or not the college degree was earned via being in classrooms, or through tests-for-credit and online courses. That is JMO, however. :)

 

Some employers might really value the determination and perseverance that goes into earning a degree "on your own" via a non-traditional path... Others might prefer employees who had traditional in-class interactions and experiences.

 

4.

I don't know how to answer this. It's certainly a different route to a degree -- more about self-study, rather than traditional classroom/teacher interaction. Don't know that either method of learning is inherently more "rigorous" than the other, as I can see how some people will study just enough to pass the test -- whether that is a CLEP or an in-classroom test -- and some people will dig deep into their studies -- whether for a teacher or for themselves.

 

Where there may be a potential problem is that there is no GPA attached to CLEP tests, so a large part of the degree is "ungraded". If interested in getting or entering a graduate program that requires a minimum GPA, having a distance degree *might* be problematic -- but that might also be overcome by submitting a portfolio of work or interviewing to show body of knowledge, or passing an in-take test with a high score, etc.

 

 

Just as a general final observation: Lumerit is a specialized type of program, and only a small segment of people are a good fit for it. From what I saw of the 2 homeschoolers who did the program, it is intensive and requires having innate perseverance and being a good self-studier. I have seen several other homeschoolers dabble initially with the program, but drop it after a semester as it was too much for them, and they needed classroom settings to succeed with college.

 

BEST of luck deciding what works for your family. :) Warmest regards, Lori D.

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I honestly don't know why more people don't use junior colleges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just to comment on this as there situations that make other schools a better option. For us (me and ds), the nearest community college would have doubled our commute time. I sat down and factored wear and tear on the vehicle and drive time and realized the nearest university was going to be more affordable. Granted, we have the 3rd lowest tuition in the state, but even I was surprised at how comparable it was to the CC. We are also a fairly small university, so class sizes are not overwhelming. 

 

After being at this university, I can name a few pros about starting here, even for undecided students. Ds originally started intending one major. He changed his mind and settled on math. Without his math advisor, I don't think he would have chosen that as readily. He know has an advisor/mentor that he has built a rapport with over the last few years. He had the opportunity to do a paid internship last summer, one that probably wouldn't have been available at a community college. 

 

In my department (history) there is a definite benefit to studying under the same professors. Not only do you learn their styles, they see you grow as a scholar and provide feedback that fits you. Again, it's a way to build rapport which can be harder if you're only there for the last two years. 

 

For me, this has been helpful when applying to graduate schools. Had I attended community college, I would not have had time to complete an honor's thesis that formed the backbone of my applications. I would have had only 1 year instead of 3 to build rapport with professors to write letters of recommendation. 

 

Obviously, money is a huge factor, yet the ability to extract everything a student needs out of the educational experience is important too. 

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Other reasons why community college / junior college might not be an option for some families:

- if it costs very nearly as much as the university, so no savings -- plus loss of freshman eligibility

- if it has low quality classes/teachers

- if the credits don't transfer (no good articulation agreement with 4-year universities)

- if it doesn't offer the prep courses needed for the student's choice of 4-year degree

Edited by Lori D.
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Other reasons why community college / junior college is not an option for some families:

- it costs very nearly as much as the university, so no savings -- plus loss of freshman eligibility

- it has low quality classes/teachers

- the credits don't transfer (no good articulation agreement with 4-year universities)

- it doesn't offer the prep courses needed for the student's choice of 4-year degree

Adding:

Student is beyond the level of coursework offered.

Emphasizing:

Freshman scholarships tend to be easier to qualify and greater in number than transfer scholarships

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I recently dove into previewing a variety of colleges through their respective websites and ultimately came away discouraged that most of the colleges, which are not even ivy league, would cost over 20k a year for dorm+tuition per child, even after subtracting automatic institutional merit-based scholarships.  I looked at over 30 different schools. In order to compete for the largest scholarships at most institutions, it seems the SAT score needs to be higher than 1400 (I still don't know my daughter's score).  My children seem above average but not necessarily in the highest accolade category.  I have three children, so that would cost us 240k altogether.  I'm surprised that most homeschoolers can afford these high fees.  Excluding federal aid, the maximum amount being about 5k a year, and loans, which I will not procure, the costs seem prohibitive. 

 

1. Where are most homeschoolers sending their kids to school? 

 

2. In regards to college-bound homeschoolers, are most of them living at home after graduating and commuting to local schools in order to reduce costs?

 

3. My daughter is considering taking a GAP year after her senior year; theoretically, could she study for more AP courses through Modern States during that year and take more AP exams to help reduce her college credit requirements?

 

Thank you in advance for your nuggets of wisdom.

 

Marsha

 

Many local homeschoolers go to a university just over an hour away and stay on campus. They are fairly cheap to begin with, and give merit aid for good (not great, just good) scores and GPA. Depending on how much funding the state scholarship has for the year, direct costs for these good students is $5,000 to $10,000. It's not an exciting choice, and the dorms are a bit gnarly, but it's a solid and very affordable education. They don't have a ton of majors, but they have typical ones like business and communication that most people can make work if needed.  

 

Others go to one of the local universities in the city, often staying at home. Tuition ranges from $5,000 to $9,000 depending on how much funding the state scholarship has (and whether you get it, of course, it's a lower threshold than merit aid). Room and board would be about $9,000 more. ACT scores from 23 to 28 get merit aid from $2,000 to $5,000. 

 

Occasionally someone goes to one of the private schools in the city, but they are quite expensive.

 

The state scholarship is in big trouble, and is likely to diminish and then vanish over the next few years. We are not taking it into account for youngest dd's decision (which is being made right now). 

 

Rather than looking at schools first and then seeing what merit aid they offer, chase merit aid first. More specifically, look at final cost first (because five grand in merit aid yields different final costs at different schools). We wanted a list of schools we could afford with guaranteed merit aid. I started you off with a few links below. Of course, always verify the current offers on each college's site.

 

Personally, we are paying about $5,000 in direct costs per year for oldest, staying on campus at an OOS school. This was guaranteed merit aid based on GPA and test scores. We probably pay an additional $1,000 to $2,000 per year in additional travel expenses. 

 

Youngest will probably also be attending an OOS school (same state as sister but different school, in opposite directions of course). Guaranteed merit aid brings direct costs to about $13,500 per year. She is in competition for two other scholarships there, but both are long shots and decisions are based on the above figure. 

 

The best deals tend to be found in the south and midwest, but I'm sure there are some affordable gems elsewhere. 

 

https://blog.prepscholar.com/colleges-with-full-ride-scholarships

 

http://thecollegematchmaker.com/134-college-scholarships-awarded-solely-for-high-grades-and-satact-scores/

 

http://time.com/money/4894643/best-colleges-merit-aid-scholarships/

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Other reasons why community college / junior college is not an option for some families:

- it costs very nearly as much as the university, so no savings -- plus loss of freshman eligibility

- it has low quality classes/teachers

- the credits don't transfer (no good articulation agreement with 4-year universities)

- it doesn't offer the prep courses needed for the student's choice of 4-year degree

 

-- no availability of undergrad research in future major

-- no clubs (solar car, etc) in major

-- more difficult to find quality internships and co-ops

-- transfer may be a 2-3, so costs a year

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Other reasons why community college / junior college is not an option for some families:

- it costs very nearly as much as the university, so no savings -- plus loss of freshman eligibility

- it has low quality classes/teachers

- the credits don't transfer (no good articulation agreement with 4-year universities)

- it doesn't offer the prep courses needed for the student's choice of 4-year degree

 

Not trying to be oppositional to the Hive, but we live close to a very good cc system.  

 

Our cc is supposed to be one of the top 10 in the country.  They have transfer agreements with all the universities here.  A lot of the same professors who teach at the cc also teach at the local universities.  The tuition is a tenth of the tuition at the cheapest university here.  We've looked through their course catalog and they have higher math, aviation courses, etc.  Their courses aren't complete junk (I've seen some course catalogs that were complete junk).  Their basic core curriculum that everyone has to take (or whatever they call it here) transfers in a block on the transcript to the university.  *shrug*

 

I also took classes at a cc in California.  I thought the classes/teachers there were better quality than the classes at the big-name university in Chicago that I graduated from.  

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CC classes usually only go through 200 level content. Students entering with a lot of AP or other cr will run out of courses quickly. If that student would qualify for freshman scholarships, the costs could end up being more.

 

For students wanting grad school, being on the same campus for UG research can be a serious consideration. (Eta to clarify: starting research and networking within a dept freshman yr can lead to higher levels of research as you move toward upperclassman. These can lead to LOR, as well.) A student entering as a Jr will not have the same network within a dept.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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Another reason not to choose CC:

in highly sequenced majors, coursework is scheduled to take four years at the university because courses have to be taken in order and are prerequisites for one another. Fulfilling the gen eds at CC won't shorten your time; it gets you a lighter schedule, but no savings at a school that has flat rates for semesters. You cannot simply fill in the open slots with more major classes,  because of prerequisites.

Edited by regentrude
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and another

 

-- courses transfer in but gpa won't include those lighter gen ed courses....big consideration for those who will have to adjust study habits and want the gpa to go on to grad school...

Edited by Heigh Ho
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Other reasons why community college / junior college is not an option for some families:

- it costs very nearly as much as the university, so no savings -- plus loss of freshman eligibility

- it has low quality classes/teachers

- the credits don't transfer (no good articulation agreement with 4-year universities)

- it doesn't offer the prep courses needed for the student's choice of 4-year degree

 

We are fortunate to have a great cc locally with amazing professors who care about their students.  They offer the higher level math courses that my kids need and we've been very happy with our kids' education there (generally - there have been some duds but most classes/instructors have been fantastic).  I am always impressed with how dedicated the professors are there.  The credits are guaranteed to transfer at in-state public universities.  I don't know what will happen with OOS public or any private.  We'll probably find out with my youngest.  One of my sons satisfied all of this science requirements, and most of his math and gen ed requirements for his 4 year engineering degree with his DE credits.  

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We are fortunate to have a great cc locally with amazing professors who care about their students.  They offer the higher level math courses that my kids need and we've been very happy with our kids' education there (generally - there have been some duds but most classes/instructors have been fantastic).  I am always impressed with how dedicated the professors are there.  The credits are guaranteed to transfer at in-state public universities.  I don't know what will happen with OOS public or any private.  We'll probably find out with my youngest.  One of my sons satisfied all of this science requirements, and most of his math and gen ed requirements for his 4 year engineering degree with his DE credits.  

 

That's great, but the trend now is to take the math as dual enrollment while in high school. The better high schools offer math thru Diff Eq, which means there is nothing left at the CC for the first two years of college. 

 

Here the CC is very lame, one can't even take a programming language. CCs as you know are trying to help people who don't want to move out of the area, so they don't offer a lot of choices if there isn't a lot of demand in the area.  One can easily get Computer Science jobs at the very large city south of me, or the large Fortune 50 companies a county over, but the courses necessary to transfer to those types of majors just aren't in the CC here.  These students can take all the allied health they want, but forget about anything else. 

Edited by Heigh Ho
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Not trying to be oppositional to the Hive, but we live close to a very good cc system.

 

Our cc is supposed to be one of the top 10 in the country. They have transfer agreements with all the universities here. A lot of the same professors who teach at the cc also teach at the local universities. The tuition is a tenth of the tuition at the cheapest university here. We've looked through their course catalog and they have higher math, aviation courses, etc. Their courses aren't complete junk (I've seen some course catalogs that were complete junk). Their basic core curriculum that everyone has to take (or whatever they call it here) transfers in a block on the transcript to the university. *shrug*

 

I also took classes at a cc in California. I thought the classes/teachers there were better quality than the classes at the big-name university in Chicago that I graduated from.

Agreeing with this.

 

Cc credits are 46/unit here

CalStates are 160/unit

UCs are something like 370/unit

 

There are also higher campus, parking, administration fees.

 

Our CC has robotics clubs, Christian clubs, foreign language clubs, math clubs? A STEM center, (the one my dd will go to is fully funded by the Gates foundation and includes internships)

 

The one thing there’s a little less of may be internships but we have found at our universities they mostly go to juniors and seniors anyway.

 

And none of that includes the whole room and board factor. another 15-20k pr year.

 

So, I guess you need to look closely at your own community college situation. When I lived in a New Jersey shore town, the community college was truly tiny, truly awful- there was no campus- it was three buildings plunked in the middle of the shopping district across from Kmart and the local ShopRite. But even then, that was a satellite and there was a larger campus.

 

And guess what my high school BFF went there, saved thousands, transferred to a decent Philadelphia college and in the end has a rearming career as a special need teacher. She has married someone she loves and bought a beautiful house with 3/4 acre of land and is home by 3:00 and summers off. I would say even at the podunk community college she did very well

For herself and doesn’t have much debt!

 

Honestly half of what these people say about community college may not apply at all to most situations.

 

Lastly, my sons teachers and profs really have time and take time, to help after class and during office hours.

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Not trying to be oppositional to the Hive, but we live close to a very good cc system.  

 

 

She was just noting reasons that CC isn't a good option for some people. I don't think she was at all saying that the listed reasons apply to everyone or every CC. 

 

Lots of us do not have great CC systems. 

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She was just noting reasons that CC isn't a good option for some people. I don't think she was at all saying that the listed reasons apply to everyone or every CC.

 

Lots of us do not have great CC systems.

Yes, I think that is exactly what Lori was doing. And, for some students, CC is a poor option for other reasons beyond the quality of the CC.

 

I have nothing against CCs. My oldest Dd earned her OTA degree from a CC. But, CCs would absolutely have been the wrong choice for my 2 current college kids and would have deprived them of excellent scholarships.

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Yes, I think that is exactly what Lori was doing. And, for some students, CC is a poor option for other reasons beyond the quality of the CC.

 

I have nothing against CCs. My oldest Dd earned her OTA degree from a CC. But, CCs would absolutely have been the wrong choice for my 2 current college kids and would have deprived them of excellent scholarships.

 

Many of the possible drawbacks of CC to 4-year can be mitigated if you do the credits DE (like, you are still eligible for freshman scholarships in most cases), but of course that requires advance planning and a kid who's ready for CC in high school.

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She was just noting reasons that CC isn't a good option for some people. 

 

Oh, I know she was!  Lori's one of my favorite posters on this forum.  I was just being too conversational, I guess.   :tongue_smilie:

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That's great, but the trend now is to take the math as dual enrollment while in high school. The better high schools offer math thru Diff Eq, which means there is nothing left at the CC for the first two years of college. 

 

Here the CC is very lame, one can't even take a programming language. CCs as you know are trying to help people who don't want to move out of the area, so they don't offer a lot of choices if there isn't a lot of demand in the area.  One can easily get Computer Science jobs at the very large city south of me, or the large Fortune 50 companies a county over, but the courses necessary to transfer to those types of majors just aren't in the CC here.  These students can take all the allied health they want, but forget about anything else. 

That does sound lame

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Many of the possible drawbacks of CC to 4-year can be mitigated if you do the credits DE (like, you are still eligible for freshman scholarships in most cases), but of course that requires advance planning and a kid who's ready for CC in high school.

 

I didn't get the impression that DE was being discussed but actually attending a "jr college" for 2 yrs prior to transferring as a college jr.   I personally don't use "transfer to" when discussing DE/high school students, but it could very well be that these are not parents of older kids and don't see a distinction in the terminology.

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Agreeing with this.

 

Cc credits are 46/unit here

CalStates are 160/unit

UCs are something like 370/unit

 

There are also higher campus, parking, administration fees.

 

Our CC has robotics clubs, Christian clubs, foreign language clubs, math clubs? A STEM center, (the one my dd will go to is fully funded by the Gates foundation and includes internships)

 

The one thing there’s a little less of may be internships but we have found at our universities they mostly go to juniors and seniors anyway.

 

And none of that includes the whole room and board factor. another 15-20k pr year.

 

So, I guess you need to look closely at your own community college situation. When I lived in a New Jersey shore town, the community college was truly tiny, truly awful- there was no campus- it was three buildings plunked in the middle of the shopping district across from Kmart and the local ShopRite. But even then, that was a satellite and there was a larger campus.

 

And guess what my high school BFF went there, saved thousands, transferred to a decent Philadelphia college and in the end has a rearming career as a special need teacher. She has married someone she loves and bought a beautiful house with 3/4 acre of land and is home by 3:00 and summers off. I would say even at the podunk community college she did very well

For herself and doesn’t have much debt!

 

Honestly half of what these people say about community college may not apply at all to most situations.

 

Lastly, my sons teachers and profs really have time and take time, to help after class and during office hours.

I think you are right on the money about needing to examine what is actually possible and available locally and if any of that helps the student in question achieve goals.

 

We have a well integrated CC and University system. But there are still lots of differences from campus to campus. My kids attended two different schools for DE. One was much larger and had many more sections of classes. But it also had more restrictions on DE students who were just starting out. The other school was smaller and more urban, but was the place to be for construction related votech classes. It also retained lower level math courses that had been purged from other campuses.

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I recently dove into previewing a variety of colleges through their respective websites and ultimately came away discouraged that most of the colleges, which are not even ivy league, would cost over 20k a year for dorm+tuition per child, even after subtracting automatic institutional merit-based scholarships.  I looked at over 30 different schools. In order to compete for the largest scholarships at most institutions, it seems the SAT score needs to be higher than 1400 (I still don't know my daughter's score).  My children seem above average but not necessarily in the highest accolade category.  I have three children, so that would cost us 240k altogether.  I'm surprised that most homeschoolers can afford these high fees.  Excluding federal aid, the maximum amount being about 5k a year, and loans, which I will not procure, the costs seem prohibitive. 

 

1. Where are most homeschoolers sending their kids to school? 

 

2. In regards to college-bound homeschoolers, are most of them living at home after graduating and commuting to local schools in order to reduce costs?

 

3. My daughter is considering taking a GAP year after her senior year; theoretically, could she study for more AP courses through Modern States during that year and take more AP exams to help reduce her college credit requirements?

 

Thank you in advance for your nuggets of wisdom.

 

Marsha

 

I just want to point out that your questions are not really specific to homeschoolers; I don't think there is any "most homeschoolers."  Homeschooling parents are paying (or not) for college the same way everyone else--in a thousand different ways.  One of my favorite threads on the college forum is one Lori D linked, something like "how do YOU pay for college."  I hope you'll peruse it, as it's quite inspiring and could give you plenty of ideas.

 

FWIW, I distinctly remember the experience you've described of looking up a particular college's COA (it was my own alma mater, a Big State U) and being shocked at what had happened to tuition, etc., in the 15 or so years since I'd graduated.   Fortunately, my oldest was an infant at the time, so I had time to plan accordingly.  In our family, the planning included not only financial preparations, as you would expect, but also managing my students' expectations and adjusting my own career plans.  Also, I didn't see how old your kids are, but keep in mind that your plan for the oldest needn't be the same as that for your youngest.  

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Yep, I looked at my alma mater, University of State, recently.  I graduated in 2006.  In-state tuition has gone up 3x; out of state has doubled.  Meanwhile, their big merit scholarships have been in some cases halved - they no longer have a free ride for NMF.

 

I expected some tuition hikes, sure - but 200-300% over the course of 10-12 years is just insane.

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I wanted to throw up a few other things:

 

-- Automatic merit scholarships are not all the scholarships available. There are scholarships which are competitive (some highly, some somewhat competitive) and need-based aid provided by the federal and state government and by the colleges.

 

I encourage families doing an initial survey to look up the school on collegescorecard and see how much a typical family at your income level is paying for a particular school. Click on the "costs" tab https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/

 

When you are looking in more detail, run the school net price calculator. If you cannot find it, the department of education keeps a list here: https://collegecost.ed.gov/netpricecenter.aspx

 

Another interesting one is collegedata.com, click on the money matters tab. You can see the average merit award and the percentage of kids getting it. Note that the typical merit award curve has a very few kids getting big awards and a lot more getting small awards. I use a rule of thumb like this: If the average award is $4000 and 40% of students get merit awards, then if you need more than $4000, make sure you are at a minimum in the top half of the merit aid pool (top 20% of applicants).

 

-- One poster lamented that they "qualify for nothing, not even loans".  Unless you are an undocumented immigrant, ALL undergrads who haven't used up their six years of eligibility or gone on academic probation for unsatisfactory progress qualify for federal direct student loans. The subsidized ones have no interest accruing while you are in school and are only offered to those at or below a qualifying income level, but even the unsubsidized ones that do charge interest have better interest rates, fees, and repayment plans than anything you can get on the private loan market.

 

Almost all families (it takes a bankruptcy or repossession or other severe credit blemish, not a late payment or high existing debt) can get a parent PLUS loan. Unlike federal direct student loans, these are NOT at attractive terms and you CAN often do better at a bank or credit union. These are available, but not necessarily the wisest thing to do. Tread carefully on PLUS.

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Not trying to be oppositional to the Hive, but we live close to a very good cc system.  

 

Our cc is supposed to be one of the top 10 in the country.  They have transfer agreements with all the universities here.  A lot of the same professors who teach at the cc also teach at the local universities.  The tuition is a tenth of the tuition at the cheapest university here.  We've looked through their course catalog and they have higher math, aviation courses, etc.  Their courses aren't complete junk (I've seen some course catalogs that were complete junk).  Their basic core curriculum that everyone has to take (or whatever they call it here) transfers in a block on the transcript to the university.  *shrug*

 

I also took classes at a cc in California.  I thought the classes/teachers there were better quality than the classes at the big-name university in Chicago that I graduated from.  

 

We are fortunate to have a great cc locally with amazing professors who care about their students.  They offer the higher level math courses that my kids need and we've been very happy with our kids' education there (generally - there have been some duds but most classes/instructors have been fantastic).  I am always impressed with how dedicated the professors are there.  The credits are guaranteed to transfer at in-state public universities.  I don't know what will happen with OOS public or any private.  We'll probably find out with my youngest.  One of my sons satisfied all of this science requirements, and most of his math and gen ed requirements for his 4 year engineering degree with his DE credits.  

 

She was just noting reasons that CC isn't a good option for some people. I don't think she was at all saying that the listed reasons apply to everyone or every CC. 

 

Lots of us do not have great CC systems. 

 

Yes, I think that is exactly what Lori was doing. And, for some students, CC is a poor option for other reasons beyond the quality of the CC...

 

Absolutely! I promise that I am NOT a pot-stirrer! :laugh:  I was just trying to help with thinking through the options by listing some pros and cons. :)

 

We DID do the CC route and transfer to the public state university and it a terrific option for DS#1 on the way to earning a BA -- so much so, that he is doing it a *second* time, pretty much doing what Kassia's DS did, going for a BS in Mechanical Engineering.

 

And like Evanthe, our CC has great programs, smaller classes taught by good, actual teachers (rather than the university's mass classes led by graduate students), a great articulation agreement for credit transfer, and is 1/4-1/3 the cost of the university. Woo-hoo! Love our CC here! :)

Edited by Lori D.
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You cannot lose your house from a PLUS loan, it is not a mortgage.

 

The federal government can dock government checks including tax refunds and social security if you are in default on PLUS, but they cannot foreclose on your house or other possessions.

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Hi plansrme,

 

Yes, I was looking at some of the links.  It takes time. :)  It can take me a couple hours or more just to explore one link.

I'm sorry I hope I didn't come across negatively.  I'm always thinking of homeschooling families as one-income households and more financially stretched, but of course, there are some amazing moms who both work and homeschool and homeschoolers in many different situations, so it's hard to generalize.  

 

Hi Kassia, Evanthe, & Lori D.,

 

Not sure you mind mentioning...what CC network are you a part of?  If you wish to divulge, you can private message me if you prefer. Your CC system seems wonderful.  We might move in the near future, and are considering different areas of the country.

 


I was looking in my home state, and one CC has a partnership with a big local university, but many of the computer classes will not transfer if the student plans to major in programming, so if I was looking at it correctly, my son could only complete one year of study at the CC, at most.   Also, as it was mentioned above, the GE classes would (probably) be easier classes and would boost GPAs, so it might be a loss to take them at the CC.  Decisions decisions.

 


Heigh Ho

 

What is Diff Eq?

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I went back to work part time 3 years ago and put all the money into savings.  I tutor from home so can continue to homeschool my two high schoolers. 

 

Ruth in NZ

Edited by lewelma
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We are just looking at maximizing our income up the wahoo to save for college. It is the only sure thing. And we'll continue paying while they go to school if need be.

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I was looking in my home state, and one CC has a partnership with a big local university, but many of the computer classes will not transfer if the student plans to major in programming, so if I was looking at it correctly, my son could only complete one year of study at the CC, at most.   Also, as it was mentioned above, the GE classes would (probably) be easier classes and would boost GPAs, so it might be a loss to take them at the CC.  Decisions decisions.
 
What is Diff Eq?

 

Contact the state universities in the same system and see what they recommend for CC transfers. For example, we would recommend someone wanting to come in from a CC for math transfer partway through sophomore year or plan to enroll for the introduction to proofs class in summer session, because if they cannot move into the proof-based classes for junior year, it will be an extra year to graduation. 

 

I would suspect that one of the reasons the courses will not transfer in CS is because they are more applications-oriented classes (for an information systems degree or some such) which is still involving computers, but isn't really computer science. 

 

Diff Eq is differential equations. It is commonly offered at CC but it is also common for it to not transfer. We don't accept it because around here it is usually taught at the CC's as a rather "cookbook" class. But if someone challenges the transfer and brings in copies of their syllabus and examinations, and we can verify that it was at least at our level, we will accept it. It is wise to save all graded assignments from CC's until you have had your transfer credit evaluated, because it is not at all uncommon for colleges to make exceptions to their transfer policies if the class actually was sufficiently rigorous. If it was not sufficiently rigorous, you really do need to take it again, but often they can explain precisely what your cc was missing. 

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We are going the CC route, which is less than 10 minutes from our home and is a good solid option. Tuition is almost 1/3 of the state schools' (plus thousands saved on room & board by them living at home!), and my kids have gotten help through some scholarships too. There's a great articulation agreement so credits transfer easily to state and also to many private schools. 

 

Find out what options are good in your area and ask lots of questions. 

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And I will go back to work, as well.  Although I will make almost nothing since it's taxed so high.  But, I figure almost nothing is more than nothing 

 

Why is it taxes so high if you make almost nothing?  Is this a filing jointly thing?  In NZ, each tax payer is assessed separately from their living arrangement.  So it is definitely worth it for me to earn a small amount because I get to keep 90% of it.

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Other reasons why community college / junior college is not an option for some families:

- it costs very nearly as much as the university, so no savings -- plus loss of freshman eligibility

- it has low quality classes/teachers

- the credits don't transfer (no good articulation agreement with 4-year universities)

- it doesn't offer the prep courses needed for the student's choice of 4-year degree

 

My sister is an engineering prof at a CC in Virginia.  And she has worked hard to get the department into alignment with UVA so that most of the classes will transfer there. She also holds a patent on the MRI, so clearly was high end in her field at the time.  She teaches at CC because it is convenient and because she likes to help students who need more help than those at a high-end university. Clearly, teaching quality and course transferability depends on the CC.

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My sister is an engineering prof at a CC in Virginia.  And she has worked hard to get the department into alignment with UVA so that most of the classes will transfer there. She also holds a patent on the MRI, so clearly was high end in her field at the time.  She teaches at CC because it is convenient and because she likes to help students who need more help than those at a high-end university. Clearly, teaching quality and course transferability depends on the CC.

 

  :thumbup1:  That's awesome! Our CC is great, too! :) See my post above (#37). :)

Edited by Lori D.
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We are having a great CC experience too for dual enrollment. Many of the profs at our CC are also teaching at the competitive colleges public and private in our urban area too. Teacher access and class size has been fantastic.

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OP, I would start by looking at in-state schools, especially any that are commutable. Then look on their websites for a list of CLEP (and possibly DSST) tests that they will accept, and see if there is a limit on "credit by exam" type credits. For example, Ohio State accepts a limited number of CLEPs, 3 DSSTs, and all APs, but only up to a max of 30 credits (and that includes OSU departmental exams). OTOH, Arizona State accepts a much larger number of both CLEPs and DSSTs, and they allow up to 60 credit-by-exam credits. Modern States offers free CLEP prep courses, and they even provide vouchers to take the exams for free. So theoretically, if you plan well, you could knock out a year or more of college credit for free.

 

Also, I disagree with the post upthread that CLEPs must be taken before HS graduation. Unlike AP tests, which are administered in high schools to high school students, CLEPs are generally administered by colleges for college students. I have not run across any colleges that will not accept CLEPs taken after HS graduation, and my DS is currently studying for several during his gap year, to knock out some GenEd credits.

 

Arizona State's "Global Freshman Academy" offers online course credit through EdX for $650 per 3 credit course, or roughly $6500 for freshman year of college. The coursework appears as regular ASU classes on the ASU transcript (not marked as part of GFA, or even an online course). That's more expensive than many CCs, but possibly a good deal for someone who does not have a CC within commuting distance.

 

ETA: Starbucks has a special program in conjunction with ASU where they will reimburse tuition for online courses taken by employees who work any least 20 hrs/wk. So, for example, a student could take CLEPs for free through Modern States, then work at Starbucks for 2-3 years (depending on the number of CLEPs passed/transferred in and the specific degree requirements) and get an ASU degree for free, or nearly free.

 

Personally I would not pay for Lumerit. If an all (or mostly) online degree is of interest, I'd recommend InstantCert for similar advice to what you might get from Lumerit, for far less money. The discussion forum is free, although access the CLEP/DSST study materials and the exam-specific discussions, requires a subscription ($20/mo or $100 for 6months). Most of the people using InstantCert seem to run their credits through Thomas Edison State, Charter Oak State, or Excelsior College.

 

As for my own kids, DS was awarded a combo of academic and athletic scholarships covering full tuition at his first choice university, so we will just be paying R&B plus books. I expect his degree will cost about $45K total out of pocket. DD will probably do two years at CC, tuition free, then transfer to a state uni, where tuition/books/R&B runs about $22K/yr. So her degree should end up costing about the same as DS's. It also helps that they are 4 years apart in age, so I can cover the annual costs from savings.

Edited by Corraleno
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ETA: Starbucks has a special program in conjunction with ASU where they will reimburse tuition for online courses taken by employees who work any least 20 hrs/wk. So, for example, a student could take CLEPs for free through Modern States, then work at Starbucks for 2-3 years (depending on the number of CLEPs passed/transferred in and the specific degree requirements) and get an ASU degree for free, or nearly free.

 

Adding on to this option: Here are several articles with lists of companies that offer tuition reimbursement benefits, for any college (not limited to a specific university):

 

The Krazy Coupon Lady blog: "23 Companies That Will Pay For Your College Degree"

USA Today: "15 Companies That Help Employees Pay For College"

Get Unbound blog: "33 Companies That Can Save You From College Debt"

 

 

This idea, and many more alternatives to funding college, are in those 2 threads I linked upthread (post #6). :)

Edited by Lori D.
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