Understanding transfer credit makes a big impact on the overall cost of college. Through resourceful high school planning, parents learn to understand how to make a college’s transfer policy work in their favor.
My target college accepts (___) number of transfer credits, and I will earn them by (___).
Many students simply don’t realize that their college’s policy allows them to save money – big money, but the catch is that you have to do it in advance. Earning college credit in high school is the #1 way resourceful parents can lower the cost of their teen’s overall college costs. Resourceful high school planning and common sense college planning work together to keep the costs LOW and bring the goal post closer!
Your teen’s target college charges $400 per credit. Since the Bachelor’s degree contains 120 credits, your teen’s tuition cost is calculated like this:
$400 x 120 = $48,000
Keep in mind that this isn’t the total cost of college attendance- especially if your teen plans to live on campus, but this is a number you can reduce if you start in high school!
Free Dual Enrollment
If dual enrollment is free in your state, every course your teen completes in high school reduces their degree cost dollar for dollar! It’s BETTER than a scholarship because you know ahead of time that your teen’s tuition is discounted.
The average Homeschooling for College Credit family completes 30 college credits through dual enrollment. If this benefit is realized early enough, the student in our example is earning $400 x 30 = $12,000 SAVED!
Self-Pay Dual Enrollment
If you don’t have access to free dual enrollment, you should compare prices for your local community college and other online dual enrollment programs open to your family. As an example, Arizona State University currently charges only $99 per 3-credit college course through its Earned Admissions program. There is no age-restriction, and these courses should transfer perfectly into your teen’s target college.
For religious-based education, Liberty University charges $550 per dual enrollment course, which is half the cost you’ll pay if you wait for your teen to graduate from high school and then enroll.
Credit by Exam
Credit by exam allows your teen to bring in college credit earned independently at home. Popular credit by exam brands includes Advanced Placement, CLEP, DSST, and others. Exams tend to cost about $100, but the reward for credit earned can really add up! While some exams match up perfectly with a 3-credit college course, others are worth as many as 6-9 college credits!
Currently, anyone can take an unlimited number of CLEP exams for FREE when they earn a voucher with Modern States. Modern States provides a free CLEP prep course, and when complete, they will give you a coupon voucher that covers the cost of your CLEP exam. No strings- it really is free! Read More
No matter how your teen earns college credit before college, doing so will yield big rewards.
Common Sense College Planning:
- Make a list of 5 target colleges.
- Find their transfer policy by searching “transfer credit” on their website.
- Find their AP and CLEP policy by searching “AP” or “CLEP” on their website.
- Calculate your “rack rate” tuition if you decide to pay full price. (price per credit x number of credits required for the degree you want)
- Calculate the savings available to you by bringing in dual enrollment credit, AP, or CLEP for each of your target colleges.
- Choose the college that pleases your budget – not your emotions.