Money & Financial Aid Tip of the Month for Students
Save money by earning college credit in high school
One way to save money on higher education is to earn college credits while in high school, according to KHEAA.
High school students, whether they plan to get a technical degree or four-year degree, can take advantage of several programs that let them earn college credits. These programs include:
• Dual credit/dual enrollment courses. These courses let students earn both college and high school credit. In many cases, students will pay less than the college tuition rate. Some dual enrollment programs don’t provide high school credit for completing the course.
• Advanced Placement courses. AP classes count as high school credits, but many colleges will give students college credit if they earn a certain grade on AP exams. Offered by the College Board, which provides the SAT, AP classes are widely available.
• International Baccalaureate Diploma and Cambridge Advanced International programs. IB and CAI, for students 16 to 19 years old, are similar to AP. Students may be able to receive college credit for the IB and CAI classes they take.
Know your school’s satisfactory academic progress standards
One important phrase in the language of student aid is satisfactory academic progress, or SAP, according to KHEAA.
All colleges that award federal student aid must have SAP standards. Those standards are based on three key areas: your GPA, your pace and a maximum time frame.
The GPA you’re required to have may vary by school, major and whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student.
Your pace means that you have to pass a stated percentage of the classes you take in a given period of time. It may also vary by college.
The maximum time frame means you’ll have to finish your degree within a given number of attempted credit hours. For example, your school requires you to pass 120 credit hours to earn a bachelor’s degree. The maximum time frame might be that you have to pass those 120 hours without attempting more than 150 hours.
The catch is: if you don’t meet your school’s SAP standards, you may not be able to receive state or federal student aid. Make sure you know what your college’s standards are before you get in trouble.
KHEAA is a public, non-profit agency established in 1966 to improve students’ access to college. It provides information about financial aid and financial literacy at no cost to students and parents.
KHEAA also helps colleges manage their student loan default rates and verify information submitted on the FAFSA. For more information about those services, visit www.kheaa.com.