How to Save a TON on Freshmen Year

Financial Aid, Saving Money

Looking for creative ways to make college more affordable?

Here is something completely new, and very enticing for a cost-conscious student:

Arizona State University and EdX recently launched an innovative option called the Global Freshmen Academy. Through this program, students can try out online courses for a small fee, and wait until the end to decide if they want to pay tuition and apply the credits towards a diploma.

The Global Freshmen Academy will offer 12 online classes on various topics, taught by ASU faculty. Anyone can take them for free, but a student who is interested in earning credit can pay $45 per class and be placed in the “Verified Track.” Upon successful completion of the course, the student can then opt to pay up to $200 per credit towards an ASU degree.

Students who complete up to 8 classes this way can enter ASU as a full-fledged sophomore. The estimated tuition and fees for taking this route come to just over $5,000.

So in other words, this is a way to complete and entire year of college for about $5,000. That’s about half of what an in-state student would pay for a year at ASU, and about 20% of the out-of-state tuition.

Even if a student didn’t complete the full 8 courses, the credits can still reduce the time until graduation and potentially save some time and money.

Of course, online courses are not ideal for everyone. And Arizona State University, which has the largest student population of any single campus in the US, is also not for every student. But it’s a fascinating concept that I expect to be copied by more universities in the future, as online learning becomes more popular and families struggle to make college more affordable.

Interested? Learn more about the Global Freshmen Academy here.