College is expensive. It’s no secret; especially if you are in your latter high school years or the parents of a soon-to-be college student. What people often forget is that the expenses of college start long before that acceptance letter is in hand. Applications, testing, and campus visits can add up before you even officially step foot on a campus as college student.
The SAT-The often dreaded SATs costs $45. It is important to take a look at the testing schedule and deadlines for registration. Register late? That is going to cost you $23. Changing the location or date of your test? $22 please. Think before you act, otherwise a $45 dollar test could end up costing you double. Deadlines may also prevent you from having to rush your scores. Which in addition to all other fees you may pay, you will need $27 plus $9.50 for each additional report. Before you rush your scores, call the school and ask if it's necessary. This may even be applicable for early admission.
Be prepared to take the test. This may just cut down on the amount of time you plan on taking the SAT, which will ultimately keep more money in your pocket. Planning on buying a study guide? In my quick research on Amazon.com, you can buy The Official SAT Study Guide new for $21.99 or you buy the same book used from $10.30 (this book is described as used-like new). Remember, this is not a book you are probably not going to read religiously for the rest of your life. If you plan on buying multiple books, buy at once you may be able to combine shipping. Once you are finished, sell them back. You might just be able to get a majority of your money back.
If you were among the 30 million children to receive free or reduced lunches through the National School Lunch Program, you may be eligible to have the SAT fee waived. Contact your school’s guidance office for details.
College Visits-Campus visits are the best way to check out a campus. However, these visits come with the possibility of gas money, airfare, lodging, food, etc. While, nothing can replace actually stepping foot on a campus. If you aren’t 100% sure, try a virtual tour first. Many college websites provide virtual tours. After taking this tour, if you need to see more. Consider making the trip, if you weren’t left on the edge of your seat needing to see more you may want to reconsider. You can also rely on word of mouth and brochures to cut down the list of places you need to see.
If you do decide to make the trip here are some ways to cut costs
Looking at multiple colleges in the same area? Check them out all in one trip.
Going on vacation? Try and visit colleges on the way.-If mom and dad can, leave siblings at home.
Now may be a great time to cash in on those frequent flier miles or use those fuel perks!
Some schools that will allow the prospective student to stay on campus. It’s often free and they may provide the student with meals. It is also a great way to get the dorm room experience.
Ask for a campus rate at neighboring hotels. Some schools have partnerships with local hotels that provide visitors with discounts.
If you can, save money up ahead of time. Even if you can only put $5 a week away from the time your child begins high school. You’ll end up with over $500 saved by the summer before senior year.
In order to get into school you must apply. In order to apply, you must submit the application fee. Application fees can cost up to $60. Look for schools who waive the application fee if you apply online. When choosing where to apply, avoid applying to a lot of schools that are not so much within your reach. If you qualify to have your SAT fee waived, you may also qualify to have the application fee waived on up to four schools. Some colleges, may accept hardship letters from a guidance counselor. If you are set on one particular school, early admission may save you a lot of money in application fees. If possibly, visit a campus before submitting an application.