Hold out for a better offer
Hold out for a better offer
Name: Samantha Phillips
Year: Freshman
College: Susquehanna University

Strategy: Sami was accepted to several colleges that offered her half-tuition merit scholarships. She pursued additional merit awards from the schools through mid-April. To lure her away from her first-choice college, Susquehanna offered an extra assistantship (she helps a legal studies professor with research) that further cuts her tuition.

Savings: $5,000 a year

Advice: Sami's father, Shawn, an attorney, used some lawyerly wisdom: "It is a common tactic for attorneys to hold their cards until the last minute." He told the schools Sami would decide only after the family heard about the late deadline scholarships.

By Kim Clark and Beth Braverman @Money - Last updated March 23 2012: 9:41 AM ET
Colleges slashing tuition, offering 3-year degrees

A growing number of colleges are cutting tuition or speeding up the rate at which students can attain a degree in order to boost enrollment -- and their bottom line.