Education is very expensive. In fact, as per data released by the College Board, it costs about $34,740 to study at a private college (per year) and about $9,970 for public colleges if you are a state resident, but this can go as high as $25,620 if you are not a state resident.
It is quite evident that most people cannot afford to pay such heavy fees which is why they have to turn to private loans for school. Student loans hit a record high of $1.3 trillion recently which shows the bad state the country is it.
Many students get buried in loans and have to live the rest of their lives trying to pay off the debt. While many think that federal loans are easy to pay, they are a trouble as well.
Your best bet is to avoid depending on loans at all. Of course, it is easier said than done. Nonetheless, given below are some tips to help you get rid of debt and graduate without any financial worries hovering over your head.
- Find an Affordable College
Your first step should be to find a college that is affordable. As stated in the beginning of this article, public colleges in your own state will be the most affordable for you, but it may not always be possible to get admission there.
So make sure to get good grades so that you can get admission in the college of your choice. You might have to compromise on a few things, but many experts say that when it comes to college, how you study is more important than where you study.
You can also start with community college first. You can have first two years at a community college and then apply for a transfer to a bigger college. You may not get the big campus feel at a community college, but you will get quality education in a traditional environment without having to spend a lot.
- Avail Scholarships
Look around and you will find dozens of scholarships that can help pay your college fee. Contrary to the popular belief, these scholarships are not just awarded over academic performance but athletics and community experiences as well. Moreover, in some cases you may even be able to get a scholarship based on your background, desired major, location, and accomplishments.
You just need to do a bit of research and find a scholarship that fits you the best. However, it can be a bit tricky as many come with certain limitations. For example, you may not be able to apply for one scholarship if you have already applied for another. This is why you need to be careful when applying for one.
A good choice is to speak to your seniors or guardians about it and fill in your form properly. A lot of information is also available on the internet that you can use to find more about scholarships.
Remember that they come with deadlines so you need to move fast.
- Work to Pay Your Bills
Find yourself a job to pay your bills. If your studies do not allow you to work a full-time schedule, you can work a few hours everyday and make a decent amount of money to pay your bills.
The Federal Work-Study program can help you find opportunities. Moreover, you can also work at your own college if it has a vacancy. Many colleges offer jobs to students to help them cover their expenses.
- Grants and Reimbursement
Many employers such as Starbucks offer reimbursement programs to their employees to help them make a good future. While such reimbursements may come with certain conditions, it may be a good idea to give them a try.
Other than this, you can turn out to FAFSA to avail grants that are typically offered to the needy.
Consider these tips before you apply for a loan.