Cutting the Cost of College With Better Grades

One morning at a breakfast chat with parents at my son’s high school, the principal mentioned that he is always amazed at how few students at the end of each semester ask teachers how they might improve their grades.

It should be a no brainer, the principal suggested, for students to ask their teachers if they can do extra credit or redo a prior botched assignment to boost a grade.

I passed this tip along to my son Ben and he approached his teacher in a world religions class where he was not happy with his grade. He turned in an extra credit assignment on gays and discrimination and he pushed his final semester grade to an A minus.

So why am I mentioning my son’s experience? Because one of the best ways to shrink the cost of college is to earn higher grades. Especially at private colleges and universities, better grades often bring more generous financial aid packages, as well as merit awards. Schools put more weight on a high school student’s GPA than they do his or her SAT or ACT score. Consequently, colleges will typically look more favorably at a student who has a high GPA and a low SAT score than if those numbers were flipped.

With the semester ending in a matter of days for many high school students, now is the time to give this strategy a try.

Further Reading:

Studying for College Scholarships

A Primer on College Scholarships

Learn dozens of ways to cut the cost of college by reading The College Solution and by visiting my other college blog at

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