If you’re thinking about college, you’re thinking about the price tag. Anyone that says otherwise is either getting a full ride no matter what, or they’re blessed with a trust fund. College tuition on the rise and it seems like there’s no end in sight.

The old expectation was that parents would be able to help their children bridge the gaps that grants, scholarships, and even loans couldn’t. However, the recession has changed all of that considerably. Instead of getting things done, you’re going to have to actually calculate in the reality that you’re not going to be able to provide for your children in that manner. When your job is unstable, you have to make sure that every penny goes to the day to day living expenses of your family. That’s just the way that it has to be.

So the next part of your journey is going to be looking into alternatives to make college a cheaper option. Thankfully, the colleges finally have your back through the use of tuition discounts.

Of course, with every discount program there are some requirements that need to be met in order to take advantage of them. This time around, it’s not just “need” (which just about every student can prove now), but it’s academic performance. Yes, it’s true — those high school test scores actually do count for something. So if your student is a little unprepared for the SAT or the ACT, you might want to go ahead and spring for those test preparation classes. They’re inexpensive and they really can help your child rise higher in terms of test scores. Just raising the ACT score by two or three points can make the difference between paying full tuition rates, and getting to pay 66% less in tuition.

That’s money that can go towards future years of college, or current expenses that your student will need in order to succeed. Now is the perfect time to start asking all of the right questions at the college that your child is most interested in — why not check it out for yourself?

By Tobias

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