The cost of college tuition has risen in the recent past, and this discouraged many students who wanted to enroll in higher education. The fear of landing into a college debt trap due to student loans has become undoubtedly genuine to many. However, prospective students can relax. Graduating college debt-free can be a real possibility. All it will take is a bit of planning and applying yourself. So, which are the best ways to avoid college debts?
Seek Financial Aid to Cut Costs
Financial aid may come in the form of grants and scholarships that are available to the qualified college students. As a matter of fact, the College Board report says that scholarships and other types of financial aid may considerably lower the price an undergraduate student pays for his or her education. Having said this, it is crucial for the students to know the different types of financial aid for which they qualify, and how they can start the process of applying for them.
Many colleges offer financial assistance to students in order to help them identify the scholarships and grants that they are eligible for and also guide them all through the application process. Some of the most popular scholarships and grants include:
- Academic Competitiveness Grant: This is a grant awarded to undergraduate, freshman and sophomore students who demonstrate academic excellence.
- Pell Grant: Awarded to students from lower-income families.
- Merit-Based Scholarships: This scholarship is awarded to a student who demonstrates athletic, artistic, or academic talent.
Unlike student loans, scholarships and grants do not have to be repaid and this makes college education more affordable for students in need.
Another way to avoid college debt is hastening your graduation. Come to think of it: the lesser the time you will spend in college, the lower the cost will be. How exactly does one graduate early? Here are two ways to graduate early from college:
- Take Advanced Placement classes in high school for you to earn college credits.
- Enroll in accelerated degree programs which can be finished in less than the normal completion time.
Work Before You Go To College
Another good option you may want to explore is to work for a few years before you begin your college education so that you can save enough money for college expenses. This will not only help you learn the value of money, but it will also make you appreciate your education more. There are students who work a part-time job during school and two jobs during summer to avoid college debts.
Consider Going Online
And lastly, consider schooling online in a school that offers distance education, if the options above do not fit into your financial scheme. A key advantage with schooling online is that you will save on transport and boarding, which can bring down the cost of college for you immensely.