When you initially evaluate the total cost of a college education the challenge ahead can appear daunting. Taking out thousands of dollars in student loans may seem inevitable, but there are other ways that you can attend college without relying on student loans.
Choose a less expensive school, and pay in cash.
There is no doubt that selecting where you attend college is one that affects many of the future events in your life. But it’s important to make your decision logically. According to The Wall Street Journal, college graduates in 2014 left college with an average of $33,000 in debt to repay. Deciding to attend a public school instead of a private institution or staying close to home rather than going to a school outside the state can save you thousands of dollars. Plus, incurring less debt now will mean that you can more quickly achieve other financial milestones such as purchasing a home or saving for retirement.
Work and attend school at the same time.
Taking on a part-time job while you attend school will enable you to get a head start on paying off your student loans before you even are required to begin making payments. However, it’s very important to be diligent about saving the money you earn and tracking how much money you spend on luxuries such as dining out and entertainment.
Time management is also key to working and going to school concurrently. Start slowly if possible until you can adjust to the required energy level to keeping a job and earning your degree. You can always add more hours over time. Also, try and find a job on campus if possible. Minimizing the amount of wasted time commuting from work and school will allow more time for studying and rest.
Take full advantage of all other financing options.
Search for every scholarship and grant opportunity that you can before turning to student loans. The harder that you work now to find these opportunities means the less debt you will have when you graduate. Search websites like Fastweb to find scholarship opportunities. Also, some schools offer better scholarship programs than others. Make sure you are diligent in your research before making a final decision.
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