The $40,000 Test: Paying for College
Things may have changed since I was a high school student, but neither I or any of my fellow students seemed aware of how valuable the PSAT could be when we took it. Many students blew it off. Achieving a top score should be easier than on the actual SAT, and students who generally do well on standardized tests would be well served by doing some practice and preparation for the PSAT. If you make it into the top bracket, it could be your golden ticket to a free college education.
Not everyone can take same path, but there are options for anyone to control college costs. The difficult part is teaching teenagers how important it will be to their future selves. A difference of $10,000/year or more is difficult to conceptualize when you've never been responsible for your own living expenses and financing is freely available - you're investing in your future, after all! Prestigious, brand name schools rarely offer sufficient return on investment to justify their cost over state universities. Even if you receive zero scholarships and are ineligible for income based aid, AP classes, dual credit, community college, and CLEP are all options for cheap college credits. Student debt is arguably the biggest financial issue facing my generation, and costs are continually climbing. Still, there are ways to mitigate these costs, and for the savvy student to come out ahead.