Here's part three of our coverage of Smart Money's piece on how to save 50% on everything. Today, they give ideas on how to save 50% on education expenses. Their ideas that I like:
- Colleges are quietly offering tuition discounts of 50% or more — in the form of merit grants — to the most desirable students, regardless of income. In fact, total merit awards have increased fivefold since the mid-'90s, to more than $7 billion. "They take the money from those who are willing to pay and give it to those who won't or can't," says Kal Chany, author of Paying for College Without Going Broke.
- The biggest discounts are reserved for students whose grades and test scores rank them among the top 20% of the school's applicant pool.
- Maximize your need-based aid by shrinking your reported financial assets and income. Pay your debts, prepay your mortgage, max out your retirement contributions, and accelerate any major purchases.
Yes, getting scholarships is a great way to help fund college costs, but they certainly aren't the only ones (nor are they within your control). Here are some college money saving tips I've written about that I like just as much (if not better):