One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

by Jeff Gilbert ’87

After choosing a college, another big question follows: How are we going to pay for four years of education? One-size-fits-all answers don’t exist.

But paying comfortably for a college education is possible for all income levels.

The best advice is to start early, do your research, ask the right people the right questions, and be a creative problem solver. Cedarville University’s Dual Enrollment, Admissions, and Financial Aid departments are great resources to help you understand ways to make college affordable.


Working hard in school is the best place to start. Grades begin counting toward high school GPA as early as eighth grade in some subjects. Advanced Placement courses and international baccalaureate programs available in some states can earn credits toward graduation before you step on campus.

Dual enrollment is an increasingly common step high school students are taking to reduce or eliminate some tuition costs and reduce time in college from the traditional four-year plan.

he said.

High school students can accomplish dual enrollment in several ways, says Shellie Doub, Cedarville’s Director of Dual Enrollment Recruitment. Students can earn credits at community colleges or through Cedarville’s Dual Enrollment program.

Community college courses may seem like an easy choice, but it's important to consider whether those classes will transfer and satisfy general education and degree requirements. In addition, families forego a biblical worldview with a community college option.

Cedarville offers a better solution — affordably priced dual enrollment courses taught with the academic excellence and biblical worldview Cedarville is known for. Cedarville’s Dual Enrollment program has academic advisor support, and students can take courses in person or online. For high school students, these courses are discounted 80% at $185 per credit hour. College Credit Plus is an Ohio dual enrollment program that offers free tuition. Both options save money and reduce the amount of time a student spends at college.

A student coming to Cedarville with 30 hours of college credit and enrolling in a Bachelor of Arts program can graduate in three years. This results in potential savings of $20,000 or more on a college degree.

Cedarville also offers accelerated pathways for its graduate programs that reduce costs and the number of semesters needed to graduate.


Financial aid and scholarships also play a role in affordability.

Scott Van Loo '98, Vice President for Enrollment Management, urges families to stay engaged in the process after initial aid is awarded. Often families of high school seniors bow out of the process in the fall because the gap to affordability seems too large. But, he says, additional aid is often awarded in the spring to help close the gap.

Van Loo also urges students to stay engaged with their admissions counselor and be clear about their financial needs.

“Admissions counselors know the people who are making those aid decisions, so they can and will advocate on your behalf,” he said.

Kim Jenerette ’83, Executive Director of Financial Aid, urges students to seek scholarships and meet application deadlines.

“I tell families that your best friend is your high school guidance counselor, because they're the ones who are receiving scholarship information from outside sources,” he said.

Scholarships offered by local businesses and nonprofits are often available with few applicants, Van Loo said. Another good source for finding scholarships, according to Jenerette, is Jenerette said Cedarville students are awarded almost $2 million yearly in outside scholarships.

Jenerette also reminds every prospective student to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form online that allows students to apply for loans. Even if you don’t plan to borrow, many scholarships require the FAFSA.


Other ways to offset college costs are savings plans, on-campus jobs, paid internships, ROTC scholarships, other military scholarships (including transference of GI Bill funds from parents to students), and taking advantage of tuition block pricing. The tuition price for each semester is the same for any number of credit hours between 12 and 17.

“If your child can take 17 hours without compromising academically, definitely consider taking full advantage of block pricing because it's going to save you money,” Jenerette said.

With careful and deliberate planning, a college education can be affordable for families of all income levels. Time and time again, we hear stories from students and parents of how God has provided in unexpected and amazing ways to make a Cedarville education possible. If God leads your child to Cedarville, trust that He will provide a way.



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