One way for Millennials to bond is to commiserate about student loan debt. It’s the high cost of education that’s on everyone’s mind right now.

College Quicker

Photo courtesy Karen Miller.

Redmond-based author Kate Stephens wants to help decrease the debt for incoming students with her book College, Quicker: 24 Practical Ways to Save Money and Get Your Degree Faster. A graduate of Kirkland’s Northwest University, Stephens practiced what she now preaches. She earned a four-year degree in just two years on campus by working the system for advanced college credits and other certifications.

“Many of the strategies in the book I actually used myself,” Stephens said.

Her favorite method for racking up credits is taking CLEP exams. Sitting for the 90-minute exam can earn a student between three and 12 credits. It gets those pesky 101 courses out of the way at a cheaper rate.

“You’re looking at saving thousands and thousands of dollars,” said Stephens.

In Stephens own experience, she was a high schooler — like many students today — wondering how she could afford college. When she learned about ways to get credit in high school, she found a path to debt-free college.

“It was almost like a lightbulb went off,” she said.

After years of people asking how she did it, she compiled her list and also researched other ways to get credit, and the book was born.

Stephens says she hears from students that they fear graduating early will cut into their experience of college. She says that lifting the weight of things like 101 courses that can be taken care of via CLEP exam means students have more time to dig into their major and get involved on campus.

College, Quicker is available on Amazon and Stephens’ website.