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Tuition Guarantees – Helping To Manage College Costs

There’s no two ways about it, college can be extremely expensive, leading many students to graduate with staggering amounts of student loan debt that takes years or even decades to fully repay.

The high cost of college is definitely a worry for many students, especially since it isn’t unusual for colleges or universities to raise their tuition rates from semester to semester. These increases in tuition make it extremely difficult for students to effectively budget for educational costs, leading some to graduate with much more student debt than they’d initially predicted.

However, while the cost of college is always going to be pricey, there is an extremely reliable way to budget for and plan for your educational costs: the tuition guarantee.

What is Tuition Guarantee?

Tuition guarantees “lock in” your tuition rate for the duration of your degree program. Tuition guarantees are now being touted by many colleges and universities (both by online and traditional brick-and-mortar schools) as a way to ensure that their tuition rates won’t change from semester to semester, allowing students to determine the total tuition costs of their college education at the outset, rather than being surprised with higher price tags at the end of it all.

Tuition guarantees may have certain conditions attached to them, such as requiring that the degree be completed within a certain timeframe or that the student remain in good academic standing for the duration of their degree, but at least they protect students from rapidly rising tuition rates. Overall, tuition guarantee are an extremely appealing incentive for students who can’t afford to leave their college costs up to guess work.

Why Attend a School that Offers a Tuition Guarantee?

Tuition guarantees are basically the only way to accurately plan, budget and pay for an education as they allow students to know exactly how much tuition will be owed up front and from day one. This means that there won’t be any unexpected financial surprises along the way, since students won’t have to worry about tuition rates suddenly increasing due to inflation, financial crises or other unforeseen events.

To put this into perspective, the average public college experiences an 8% increase in tuition rates each year, which means you could easily save thousands of dollars over the course of your degree by choosing a program that offers to freeze your tuition rate based on the first years’ cost.

The average tuition rate for a public four-year university was around $8,244 in 2011. Given the 8% increase in tuition every year, if you started school in 2011 by the time you start your last year of school in 2014 you would end up paying just over $11,000 for your final year. That is a huge increase from your freshman tuition rate.

Attending a program with a tuition guarantee doesn’t just help you plan for the costs of your collegiate career, but in virtually every case, it will save you thousands of dollars.

How to Find Schools Offering Tuition Guarantees

Unfortunately, not all colleges and universities offer tuition guarantees, so you’re going to have to do a bit of online digging to find those that do offer this great money saving incentive. A simple Google search should reveal some of the top tuition guarantee programs out there, and is likely the best way to find schools providing this option to their students.

In addition to doing your own research, consider consulting your high school or other educational advisor to see if they have specific suggestions for schools offering the benefit, as this is an important option that they shouldn’t be overlooking.

Tuition guarantees can save you money on your degree, allow you to more effectively budget the overall costs of your college education and reduce the amount of stress and anxiety that you’ll experience while in school. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking this advantageous educational opportunity, as you could stand to sacrifice thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars for neglecting to do so!

Today’s guest article is provided by Kar Strout

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One Response to “Tuition Guarantees – Helping To Manage College Costs”

  1. Michelle says:

    The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) has information on schools that offer guarantee tuition. You can find the information when you look up specific schools in College Navigator under Alternative Tuition Plans. I have a list of 60 schools that offer tuition guarantees at http://diycollegerankings.com/guaranteed-tuition-and-4-year-graduation-part-1/992/.

    The problem with these programs is that in some cases, especially private schools, the guaranteed tuition is higher than the published tuition for the year the student starts. The school is building price increases into the guaranteed tuition. It will be less than four years of normal tuition but not as much you might expect. Also, these programs generally don’t include room and board.

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