Summertime steps to reduce college tuition for recent graduates

It's graduation season and If you have a student headed for college, you might think it's too late to get financial aid and scholarships for this fall. 

However, there are steps you can take this summer that can help cut your tuition.

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A Nerdwallet report found 42% of high school grads will take on student loans for college, with an average total of nearly $40,000.

"The most important thing you should be doing, besides working hard in school and finishing out the year well, is to actually be planning on how you are going to pay for college," said Jennifer Finetti with ScholarshipOwl, which offers free and paid scholarship help.

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Finetti says scholarships are still available.

"A lot of students think this is a bad time of year to apply for scholarships. They’re totally wrong. This is actually a great time of year to apply," she said.

Not a big essay writer?  Not a problem.

"We also specialize in what we call creative or media scholarships for students that don't love essays. They can do social media scholarships, video scholarships," explained Finetti.

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A summer job is a great way to earn money for college.

"If you can earn $3000, $4000, $5000 through work or scholarships this summer, or some combination, maybe you won't even need to take out that student loan," said Finetti.

Students can also take summer school for college credits at lower costs at community colleges.

"Or you can simply build up your GPA by taking an additional college course," said Finetti, saying it can help improve your odds of qualifying for merit based aid. 


Students should begin with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Here are resources to find available student aid and local scholarships.