Paying for College: The Costs Can Add Up

One of the most prominent and unavoidable news stories of the summer was no doubt the looming budget default by the United States. As our country quickly approached the limit it had set for how much it’s allowed to borrow from foreign nations, Congress attempted to find the best method to avert a default. While the crisis has been avoided for now, the current economic climate of the world does not prevent this from occurring again. What does this have to do with your education? Were default to occur, it would result in the government ceasing to issue certain services, including Pell student loans.

Pell loans are provided to students who are unable to pay for college in full and meet the requirements necessary for government aid. When the government can’t provide loans, students who simply don’t have the means to pay for college are potentially robbed of an education. The availability of these loans is especially important to non-traditional students whose circumstances may make paying for college out-of-pocket a near impossibility.

The national average cost of three college credit hours – traditionally a single course – is a whopping $750. For the approximate 120 credits it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree, most students face a total cost of $30,000 or more. Factor in other costs such as travel and books, and it’s no wonder so many students can’t pay for college on their own.

With ever-rising costs and the possibility of limited access to loans staring us straight in the face, it’s especially important now, more so than ever, to be careful about where and how you’re spending the money you’ve allotted for education. One way to get more bang for your buck is to earn college credit by taking a DSST exam (formerly known as the DANTES exam). With DSST tests, you can earn credits by taking exams in 38 different subjects for a fraction of the cost (just $80 vs. $750). In the midst of an economically troubling time for our nation, isn’t it nice to know that you can still earn college credit by exam for an affordable price?

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