In an era where student loan debt has hit record levels, there are a number of unique ways that some states are developing to push back against skyrocketing college tuitions.
Florida has one possible solution. They’ve converted almost all of their 2-year community colleges to offer 4-year bachelor degree programs. This is a strategy that has been bandied about in other states. For example, there’s a lot of controversy over it in Michigan, and Georgia is now allowing 4 of its 2-year community colleges to offer 4-year degrees.
A couple years spent at community college before going to a traditional 4-year school is, I believe, one of the most effective ways for families to avoid the crushing burden of student loan debt. The reduction in the overall cost of education can be dramatic when you take this approach.
Massachusetts has yet another idea. If a resident student goes to a Massachusetts community college for 2 years and maintains a 3.0 GPA or better, that qualifies them for free tuition during junior and senior year at the University of Massachusetts Lowell campus. I love this experiment!
If money is tight and there’s no way you can pay for college without borrowing, I would like you to be flexible and look at wider options. Community college, in my book, is at the epicenter of saving money on college.