29 Ways to Cut College Costs u Go to an in-state public college Public colleges are supported by tax dollars and are generally less expensive than private colleges. Also, attendingapubliccollegeinyourhomestateusually costs much less than attending a public college in a different state. u Spend less time in college Students can shorten the time they spend in college by taking AP and dual credit courses in high school, and by taking heavier loads and going to summer school while in college. u Live at home and commute Living in a dorm on campus can add a significant amount of money to the cost of a college education. Students can save a great deal of money by living at home and commuting to a local college. u Take classes at a community college It costs twice as much to attend a four-year college for one year as it does a community college. Students who want to earn a bachelor’s degree can save money by starting at a community college and transferring to a four-year college after a year or two. u Earn money through a co-op program or paid internship Co-op students and students with paid internships often earn enough to cover a large portion of their college expenses. When they graduate, they not only have a degree, they also have valuable work experience. u Take advantage of tax credit programs The American Opportunity Credit allows families to claim a tax credit of up to $2,500 per year for education expenses, and the Lifetime Learning Credit allows families to claim a credit of $10,000 in tuition expenses. u Take advantage of military programs The military has a number of programs to help students pay for college. Under the Montgomery GI Bill, enlistees can receive over $50,000 for college. College is an investment in you and in your future. On average, college graduates earn $1 million more than high school graduates over their lifetime.