8 Ways to Save Time and Money on Your Degree

From grants to military service to transfer credit, see the variety of ways you can save time and money on your degree at AIU.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it pays to get a college education: People with a bachelor’s degree earn 65% more per week than those with a high school diploma.1 Despite the income boost, many students put off pursuing a degree because they are worried about the cost.

At AIU, we respect your time and your money. Our flexible, online degree programs work around your schedule, and there are no hidden costs. Our program costs include tuition, fees and even books. We can also work with you to explore a variety of additional ways to save money on your degree, from grants and scholarships to employer alliances. Ready to learn more? Read on.

1. Scholarships & Grants

Scholarships and grants are two types of financial aid that you don’t have to pay back. AIU offers a number of institutional scholarships and grants that can help eligible students offset the program cost and help reduce out of pocket costs. Check AIU’s catalog for details on institutional scholarships, grants and eligibility requirements, as well as other funding options that may be available.

2. Military

AIU has a long history of supporting military students, veterans, and military spouses through scholarships, transfer programs, flexible schedules and reduced tuition: AIU Online offers a 45% tuition discount to active military undergraduate students and a 20% tuition discount to active military graduate students, including members of the Reserves and National Guard. Plus, AIU’s staff and dedicated military admissions and financial aid advisors are trained to understand the unique opportunities for military students such as:

  • Military Tuition Assistance
  • G.I. Bill and Veterans’ benefits
  • Military spouse and family benefits

3. Educational Alliances

Today's college students are working hard—and not just in school. According to the United States Census Bureau, 72% of college undergraduate students worked in 2011, and 20% of this group held a full-time job year round.2 One way corporations promote education and assist with paying for college is by forming alliances with colleges and universities to share specific educational opportunities with tuition discounts for their employees. Find out how AIU’s Educational Alliance Center can help students and their immediate families advance their education – for less.

4. Transfer Credit

Going back to school doesn’t mean you have to start over. AIU’s transfer-friendly policy lets you transfer in up to 75% of the qualifying credits you need toward your degree, allowing you to save up to 75% on tuition and earn your bachelor’s degree in as little as nine months. Learn more about AIU’s transfer policy with our Transfer Credit Guide.

5. Credit for Prior Work or Military Experience

AIU understands that learning doesn’t just take place in the classroom. We offer prior learning credit through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), ACE (American Council on Education), experiential learning portfolios and other opportunities to help you earn college credit for prior experience and training at work or in the military.

6. Employer Tuition Reimbursement

Many employers believe in the long-term value of undergraduate and graduate degrees, so they support their employees’ pursuit of higher education in the form of tuition assistance. While some employers may run their own scholarship or grants programs, a common benefit is reimbursement for tuition or even employer-paid tuition programs. Inquire with your company’s Human Resources department to see if you are eligible for any available employee tuition benefits. Make sure you understand all the requirements before signing on. If there isn’t an official program, that doesn’t necessarily mean assistance isn’t available, so ask if your employer will help support your education.

7. No Hidden Fees and Costs

The cost of books and student fees can catch many students off guard. At AIU, your books and fees are included in the listed program costs to help you better plan to finance your education. Find more details on AIU’s tuition and fees schedule.

8. Accelerated Degree Programs

The saying, “time is money” is especially apt for college students. AIU offers online degree programs that can allow you to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as three years, and our master’s degree programs can be completed in less than 12 months.

So how does earning a degree faster save money? The sooner you graduate, the sooner you can start paying off your student loans and any deferred interest you may have accrued. The sooner you earn your degree, the sooner you can put your credentials to work.

1U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Earnings and Unemployment Rates by Educational Attainment: 2014 Chart. http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm

2United States Census Bureau. School Enrollment and Work Status: 2011. http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acsbr11-14.pdf. [Retrieved November 7, 2014].

AIU cannot guarantee employment or salary. Find employment rates, financial obligations and other disclosures at www.aiuniv.edu/student-disclosures. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.