Why the classes you take in High School matter.



By Chad Capraro


The cost of going to college continues to rise and cause financial stress on families that have children that want to go to college. Nowadays, just saving for your children’s college education is typically not enough on its own to put your child through college. Families are looking for alternative ways to fund their kids’ college education and reduce the cost of sending their kid to college. However, families are mostly relying on scholarships and prepaid education plans to reduce the cost, but families have overlooked the importance of the classes their children take in high school. What is wrong with scholarships?

Scholarships are another way to reduce the financial stress of putting children through college. However, receiving a scholarship is becoming more and more difficult. The first problem with scholarships is that there simply are too many applicants for the number of scholarships to give out. Second, there are specific requirements for each scholarship that create application criteria on who can apply. Some scholarships are need based and other are merit based. There are scholarships out there to apply for, but applicants must meet the scholarship requirements and usually there is are additional essays that they need to write. Scholarships that require writing additional essays are less attractive to college applicants because they are already writing essays for the applications to different universities. So how else can families reduce the cost of college? The answer is taking Advanced Placement classes during high school.

If students just take normal academic classes they just receive high school credits, but what happens if they take some Advanced Placement (AP) classes in high school? Advanced Placement (AP) classes are offered in high schools to challenge students in school and help prepare them for the future. Also, if the student takes the AP exam and scores a 4 or a 5 they will be able to receive college credits for the course. This will reduce the number of courses they will have to take in college. If a high school student is able to take 4 AP classes throughout high school and they score a 4 or 5 on the test they will be able come into college with 12-15 credits. This means that the parents will have to pay for only 3.5 semesters of college, which reduces the amount of financial stress. When your children are starting high school, it is a good idea to look into taking AP classes. The classes your children take in high school matter. By having a more challenging course load in high school your children will be more prepared for college and could save you money if they do well on their AP test. In addition, by taking AP courses in high school the parents will not only save money for the cost of classes, they will save money on room and board, textbooks and more supplemental costs associated with college.

In all, funding college for your children causes a lot of financial stress on parents especially when you have more than one child. However, as a parent you need to be aware of additional ways to reduce the cost of college. This includes scholarships, prepaid education plans, and taking advanced placement classes in high school. Remember the classes your children take in high school do matter in the long run. When it is time for your kids to pick classes for high school strongly consider taking AP courses to help reduce the cost of college education.