One thing is for certain: a college education is expensive, and costs continue to rise. According to EducationData.org, the average cost of college in the United States in 2020 is $32,889 per student. This figured has doubled over the last 20 years, with an annual growth rate of 5.2%, or twice that of the U.S. dollar. Now more than ever, it is important to be proactive when it comes to saving for college.
Here are some tips for planning and saving for college expenses that you may not have heard before.
More than 1.7 million private scholarships and fellowships are awarded each year, with a total value of more than $7.4 billion! Gift aid, such as scholarships, are one of the most popular forms of financial assistance for college expenses. While applying for scholarships may seem like old news, you may not have considered these strong scholarship strategies.
- Think Local – Although national scholarship organizations such as Capex and Unigo have gained popularity, scholarships from these sites can be extremely competitive. Local scholarship opportunities often have smaller applicant pools and offer a greater chance for success.
- Submit your FAFSA – Did you know that some colleges will not consider students for any scholarships if they have not submitted a FAFSA? If you want to be considered for an institutional scholarship at a college of choice, completing the FAFSA is key.
- Apply Early & Often – Scholarships are not only for high school seniors. In fact, scholarships are even available to elementary students. Start applying early to maximize your awards. Even small scholarships will add up over time.
At Nevada State High School, students complete scholarship essay, scholarship research, and mock interview activities to ensure they apply to quality scholarships and are prepared to win them.
There are a variety of ways that parents can save for their child’s education. One option is to create a 529 Plan. This type of savings plan, usually sponsored by state governments, can grow tax free. Not keen on a 529 Plan? Parents can also opt to save for college expenses through other, more flexible savings products such as a regular savings account or certificate of deposit. Additionally, parents can assist their student in degree planning. By creating a strong degree plan, students will make every college class count to reduce unnecessary tuition costs.
Parents are a part of the process at Nevada State High School. We offer a variety of Parent in Partnership workshops that cover financial planning in depth, including FAFSA and degree planning support.
NSHS: Dual Credit Program
Nevada State High School (NSHS) is a tuition-free public charter school that offers a dual credit program. At NSHS, juniors and seniors take real college courses with real college professors on real college and university campuses in Nevada. These courses count for both high school and college credit, making it possible for our students to earn their high school diplomas while getting a head start on their college degrees.
The best part about it? Attending NSHS is absolutely free. The school’s financial plan maximizes the use of public dollars to cover two years of college tuition and fees for each of our students. After graduation, students can pursue a bachelor’s degree, transferring credits to potentially save thousands of dollars in tuition. This makes NSHS’s model a great option for students and parents who want to save money on college expenses.
With Nevada State High School’s dual credit program, students can receive over 15 college credits per semester for free! These credits can then be transferred to a college to save out of pocket tuition costs.
However you decide to plan and save for college expenses, Nevada State High School is here to help! Start financial planning early and consider all of your options to reduce stress and student loan debt.