The Traditional Path

Choose Your Plan

The college marketplace is still dominated by schools offering a traditional four-year classroom model where students enter as 18-year-old freshman and gradually accumulate their 120 hours of credit under the guidance and prescribed course requirements of the institution. Students choosing the traditional path receive a great deal of structure, but also pay the most for their degree. In their Trends in College Pricing 2010, the College Board states that four years of tuition, fees, room and board cost an average of $64,560 at in-state public colleges, $112,520 at out-of-state public colleges, and $147,972 at private colleges.

Strategies for saving money with the traditional path include researching need-based financial aid and finding schools that may grant academic, athletic or other scholarships. Whatever is left must be paid either in cash or borrowed through student loans. Interest rates vary based on whether you and your family qualify for need-based, subsidized loans, but for rough planning purposes, monthly payments will likely be around $100 for every $9,000 borrowed. Student loans are generally paid for ten years.

Good candidates for The Traditional Path include –

  • Those with comfortable finances or who qualify for substantial aid or scholarships
  • Graduating high school students looking for the “college experience”
  • Students looking for a significantly prescribed course of study and personal academic advising
  • Those most comfortable with conventional classroom instruction




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