Early college applications could mean substantial discounts on tuition

For seniors who want to earn a college degree, choosing which schools to apply to can be a big decision. Using a college search engine is one way to find the right college for you, but when faced with the costs of tuition at private universities, the decision to fill out a college application can seem daunting.

Seton Hall University in New Jersey intends to make this decision easier and give talented students the chance to study at a reduced rate. According to The New York Times, the university plans to offer students with strong academic potential, and who fill out their college applications early, substantially reduced tuition fees. Some students could see discounts of up to $21,000.

"The primary motivation has been that as we go through what looks like a double-dip recession, we wanted to help our students," Gabriel Esteban, president of Seton Hall, told the newspaper.

The first program of its kind in the U.S., the initiative could ease the financial pressure of going to college. Even if your preferred school does not operate a similar program, financial aid may still be available. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 65 percent of all undergraduate students received some form of financial aid in the 2007-2008 academic year.

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