6 ways parents can cut college costs

It's not too late to reduce the cost of sending your son or daughter to college. Putting aside well-known strategies like having your child apply for niche scholarships, excel at a sport, start at a community college, or get a perfect score on the SAT, here are 6 strategies parents can employ.

4. Avoid a transfer

One of the biggest mistakes parents and prospective college students make when selecting a university is to focus too heavily on things like the prestige of the university, the way the campus looks, or the prominence of athletic teams – while overlooking what the student really needs to thrive.

Again, few parents know that 25 percent of students who begin at a four-year university transfer to another four-year university, often because they aren't happy with their first choice. Many of these transfers could have been avoided if the parents and students had spent more time on campus, interviewed professors and sat in on classes, and focused intently on the personality and needs of the student.

Students who transfer have a difficult time graduating in four years, leading to additional costs and lost earning potential.

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