High school on a budget

How to save money on common high school expenses

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Between balancing club and course fees, tests and school dances, high school can break the bank for many students. Those who cannot afford these expenses often miss out on traditional high school experiences and educational opportunities.

However, with the right strategy students can cut their school costs significantly, allowing them to fully enjoy the high school experience and prepare for their future.

  1. Instead of buying a $200 brand-new dress or tux for prom, thrift stores offer a cheaper option. Used outfits, with a little effort, can appear just as glamorous as the expensive alternative.
  2. Small resale shops offer cheap dresses and tuxes, and buying from them can support local businesses – a win-win scenario.
  3. Most major tests such as the SAT, ACT and AP Exams cost money to take. Luckily, juniors have the opportunity to take the ACT for free on Feb. 28 during the school day, which can save around $60.
  4. Juniors on free and reduced lunch can take the PSAT for a reduced price. Those interested in this opportunity can speak to the College and Career Specialist Amber Stephens.
  5. Free and reduced lunch students can also get fee waivers for the SAT and ACT, which in turn supply fee waivers for sending colleges scores and applications. These students also receive a discount for AP tests.
  6. Advanced Placement and Dual Credit courses can save hundreds of dollars later on in college, making these classes smart investments. While Dual Credit course fees and AP test expenses may seem like a downside, taking the high school class costs considerably less than the price of taking the same class in college.

For many, affording high school can pose a major challenge. However, with thorough planning and taking advantage of deals and discounts, students can make the most of their high school years, all while keeping a reasonable budget.