Getting Ready for College
Our mission is to leave no stone unturned when it comes to helping students and families find their best-fit college at the lowest possible price. So in addition to helping our clients optimize their finances to increase need-based aid and improving test scores to increase merit aid, we recommend these resources to help families save money on college.
Compare student loan rates
Even after applying money-saving strategies to increase financial aid for college, many students and families find themselves with a gap they need to fill through student loans and parent loans. While we generally recommend using federal student loans and parent PLUS loans, some families turn to private student loans.
When it comes to private student loans, we recommend Credible as a resource for comparing rates from multiple lenders without affecting your credit. The private lenders on Credible’s platform offer student loans and parent loans, as well as the opportunity to refinance existing education loans at lower rates.
Renting textbooks (instead of buying them) can be a way to save on college costs. You can rent textbooks through Amazon Textbook Rentals or sometimes through your college bookstore.
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Freshman Year for Free
Offered by the nonprofit Modern States Education Alliance, the Freshman Year for Free program allows students to earn free college credits. Here’s how it works:
- Students take free online classes created by Modern States. The courses are taught by professors from top colleges and universities and prepare students to test out of introductory courses via CLEP exams.
- After completing each course, students take the corresponding CLEP exam for free via a voucher provided by Modern States.
- Students send their CLEP scores to their college or university to receive credit. More than 2,900 institutions accept CLEP credits.