Being ready for college goes beyond getting into your dream school.
It also means being prepared to cough up some cash.
“College tuition has grown exponentially.”
In fact, according to the College Board, the average cost of college for the current school year was nearly $9,000 for in-state students.
Looking to go out of state? That'll be more than $22,000.
Students are looking for creative ways to pay for college.
Alexius Lampkin is part of a growing number of high school students who are taking college-level courses through advanced placement and dual enrollment.
Cutting costs is a major factor in that trend.
Advanced placements are free except for an exam fee.
If Alexius passes AP calculus, she'll be 3 credits shy of being a college sophomore.
She starts at Albany State University in the fall with dreams of being a forensic scientist for the FBI.
“Ever since I was little I’ve been reading about it, watching forensics shows, all that.”
High school Junior Richard Stern is also planning ahead with money in mind.
He says although he expects to earn scholarships, increasing tuition is still a concern.
“I’m still looking at all of the bills and fees rising. Even though I’ll still get a substantial discount compared to other people, it's still worrisome. And it's something that's going to keep me up at night.”
But in his senior year of high school, he'll save thousands through dual enrollment and AP classes.
When Richard starts college in 2015, it looks like he'll be a few steps ahead of the curve.
“I plan on having just under the required hours for freshmen so I can still apply for freshman scholarships. I want to start taking really good classes my freshman classes and declare a major next year.”
One that focuses on nutrition or biology, not on budgets and student loans.