College on the Cheap

Doing whatever it takes to get a degree without debt.

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Monday Dec 05, 2022

The cool thing about trade school (vocational school, career school, etc) is that the programs are tied tightly to employment- these programs help prepare you to get a job immediately.  The challenge with these programs is the cost. Sometimes they are more expensive per contact unit than a degree in liberal arts, and when the school is unaccredited or a for-profit business, it's hard to get wise financial aid help. 
In this episode, we'll show you how to pay for trade school (accredited or not) without devastating financial consequences.  We'll also look at alternative ways to get job skills that you may not have considered, and finally, we'll give you some rules to keep your budget in check.
Hard rule: Never borrow FOR other people, and never let people borrow for you.
Stockpiling cash for the first 50% before day 1.
Living expenses - tighten that budget!
Second 50% - Pell Grant, scholarship, gifts, working so you can cash-flow the process.  *IF you borrow, only borrow the second 50%.
Find out if the occupation is available as an apprenticeship. Get paid to learn.
Jennifer & Shelley's favorite scholarship website:

Monday Oct 31, 2022

Three questions everyone should ask before going to college, and how to look past the "all-expense-paid-vacation" marketing colleges are pitching in 2022. 
Ask an 18-year-old about their future education, and then ask a 38-year-old about their future education. What you’ll notice time and time again, is that the 18-year-old talks about where they're going to college while the 38-year-old tells you what they’re doing. Whether it's a degree, a license, or a certification, adults tend to focus on the credential. 
In today’s episode, we’re going to strip away some of the experience romance and bring adult wisdom to the process. 
120 credits = Bachelor's degree average
The average college allows you to bring in 30-90 credits before you enroll. Always outsource as much prior (cheaper) credit in advance to the maximum allowable number.  
Colleges that guarantee acceptance of a LOT of alternative college credit: 
Do I know my target occupation?  
Do I need to go to graduate school? 
Can I wait?  

Monday Oct 17, 2022

1 in 4 adults has college credit but no degree. If that's your situation, you may already qualify for a degree through this special program being offered by Pierpont Community and Technical College in West Virginia.  Best of all, this degree is completely free and open to anyone in the country!  
Pierpont Community & Technical College AAS Board of Governors Degree
Take Jennifer's 90-Day Degree Class

Thursday Jun 30, 2022

Complete a 50-75% or more of your degree right now from home for $3 per credit or less. No application, no SAT scores, no acceptance letters.  Sound too good to be true?  Nope.  In this episode, you won't believe the opportunities to earn legitimate college credit that you can use at legitimate colleges starting today!
Resources / Links

Sunday Jun 12, 2022

It’s 2005-2006, and I’m reading about a concept I'd never heard of called "testing out." The interesting part is that I'd been teaching and advising in the community college district for 13 years by then, so I was sure it wasn't legit.  Except that it was.  6 months later I had tested out of over 20 college classes, and today I’m going to tell you you can do it too.
Resources / Links

Saturday Apr 09, 2022

Resourceful people LOVE finding a smart solution that’s just a little bit better than what everyone else is doing.  One company has literally reinvented its education plan so creatively, that you just might want to change jobs and let them pay for your degree.   
Source Links
Starbucks Program:
ASU regular Online Tuition $561–$661 per credit hour
List of degrees you can do through this program: 
Average wage at Starbucks $11/hour
ASU credit by exam list 

Monday Mar 21, 2022

Every student feels the intensity as they get closer to graduation, sometimes even as early as 9th or 10th grade everyone starts asking, "Where are you going to college?"  But admissions propaganda is a distraction from the real question everyone should be asking. 
College on the Cheap isn’t about saving money, it’s about spending money. 
You can learn how to save money in 5 seconds.  “Put your money over there and don’t touch it.” Boom. You saved money. Saving money is easy. Spending… spending money with wisdom is hard!
You can’t pay for college by saving money. To earn your credential, you'll have to spend money.   You have more power than you realize when it comes to how much money you spend!
In this new podcast, Jennifer Cook-DeRosa and Shelley Cloutier challenge the status quo ("just borrow it, it's good debt, no big deal") and push you to think outside the box! Normal people of average income and average intelligence can get through college without debt when they have an above average level of motivation. 
Together, we'll help you find those opportunities and get through college on the cheap!

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