Cut College Costs: Graduate On Time

Student tossing his graduation cap in the air.

Flickr user Shilad Sen

You will most likely be borrowing money every year that you are in college to fund your tuition and other college costs. By the time you graduate after 4 years, the total amount you’ve borrowed would have added up considerably. Delaying your graduation even by one semester will add a few thousand dollars more to your debt.

Instead of looking for ways to extend your time in college, it is far better to look for ways to graduate on time (or even early) so you can cut college costs down to the minimum.

These few tips will help you cut college costs by graduating on time:

Avoid Transferring

There are many reasons a student might transfer schools—they’re seeking a different program, the campus atmosphere doesn’t fit them, the school is too expensive, etc.—but transferring can add a few more semesters onto your college career. It’s best to find your right college the first time. And College Raptor can help with that! With our free college match tool, you can see your personalized matches and acceptance odds with just a few clicks!

Student Loan Refinancing Made Simple.

Fixed rates from 2.47% - 5.99% APR

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Don’t Change Majors

It’s ok to enter college undecided, but once you’ve chosen a major, try to stick with it. Switching majors can get expensive and depending on your new major, you may end up graduating later than expected.

Look Into Graduating Early

If you never ask, you’ll never know. Schedule an appointment with your course advisor to see what you can do to double up on hours and look into graduating early. It’s worth a try. The earlier you graduate, the lower your overall college costs.

Use College Raptor’s free Student Loan Finder to compare lenders and interest rates side by side!


Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Earnest company logo.
Variable APR: 1.88% - 5.64%*
Fixed APR: 2.44% - 5.79%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
Variable APR: 1.90% - 5.25%*
Fixed APR: 2.49% - 7.75%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
Credible company logo.
Variable APR: 1.80% - 9.99%*
Fixed APR: 2.15% - 9.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
Laurel road company logo.
Variable APR: 1.64% - 5.65%*
Fixed APR: 2.25% - 5.75%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
Commonbond company logo.
Variable APR: 1.96% - 7.02%*
Fixed APR: 2.59% - 6.94%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
Fixed APR: 2.44% - 5.97%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT ISL Education Lending
Variable APR: 1.87% – 5.41%**
Fixed APR: 2.30% – 5.94%**
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT Nelnet
Variable APR: 2.94% - 4.84%*
Fixed APR: 2.99% - 4.94%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT College Ave
Variable APR: 1.86% - 6.01%*
Fixed APR: 2.47% - 5.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate, Parent PLUS

*APR includes a 0.25% interest rate reduction for enrollment in automatic payments.

**Interest rate reduction of .25% for automatically withdrawn payments from any designated bank account (“auto debit discount”). Auto debit discount applies when full payments (including both principal and interest) are automatically drafted from a bank account. The auto debit discount will continue to apply during periods of approved forbearance or deferment if the auto debit discount was in effect at the time of receiving the forbearance or deferment. Auto debit discount will remain on the account unless (1) the automatic deduction of payments is canceled or (2) there are three consecutive automatic deductions returned for insufficient funds at any time during the term of the loan.

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