Having debt while still in college is not a good thing for you. Most students graduate from college but leave with a big loan to pay back. There are many expenses that might lead to a student to have a college debt, with the high fees and other expenses related to being in college will definitely a college student to have a huge debt.
However, with extra effort and smart thinking a college student can be able to cut down on their expenditure and possibly eliminate debt altogether. The following tips will show any college student how to avoid college debt.
1. Enroll with a community college
Most community colleges give the students an option of earning a 2 year college degree and can transfer to another school for their bachelor’s degree. Community colleges are under the state university system, and they do offer discounts to students who live in the same county as where the college is located.
The average cost of studying in a community college is $7,000 less than what an public/state university charges. A community college can help you save around $4,000 on tuition fees compared to other universities.
2. Work hard and apply for scholarships
If you graduate from high school with good grades, you can be able to get a scholarship when going to college. A student who graduates from high school with a 3.3 or better can receive a scholarship worth $1,500- $ 8,000 knocked off their annual tuition fee. It can be such a relief if a student is offered a scholarship to cater for their tuition fees.
3. Apply for the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA)
Most colleges demand that the FAFSA forms are filled out for all students who are applying for financial aid. The parents of the students are required to fill out the FAFSA forms with details of their annual earnings and tax reports.
The government use this information to calculate how much free grant money and how much money the student is eligible for.
4. Check with the U PROMISE website
This is a website that offers students and families the opportunity to save for college by doing activities that they like to do such as buying groceries from a certain store. How this works is that you can earn rebates between 1%-15% on shopping.
Money that is accrued through the U PROMISE program can be put towards a 529 Savings Investment Plan. This money can also be linked to any Sallie Mae school loan accounts.
5. Look for a job
Most colleges have an option of a work study program whereby the students can use their earnings that they earn from their on-campus job and use it to pay for their tuition. You can also look for jobs off campus and work during your free time when there are no lectures.
6. Apply for a loan
Look around for a loan that has less interest. There are some companies such as Virgin Money which can give students loans through an on-line portal of 3%.
7. Budget wisely when shopping
When buying books, shop around and see what stores offer you good rates. Most college book stores are expensive. You should do your research well before deciding which store to buy your books from.
Buying used books from fellow students is another great way of saving on the amount you would have spent on books. You should time students in their final years and buy books from them at a discount, the good thing is that you can also sell the books after use if they still in a good condition.
If you want to avoid debt while in college, you must have a budget that you stick too. It is fun to eat out and do some shopping but in the long run you may end up with a high expenditure if you don’t have a budget.
You must be strict with yourself and stick to your budget allocate a certain amount of money for entertainment and other needs, and be disciplined on how you spend your money. Look out for free and discounted offers that are available on campus and stick to those.
9. Stay away from credit cards
Credit cards are quite tempting and they will land you in debt if you are not careful. As a college student it is advisable to stay away from credit cards using an array of methods according to The Washington Post. For example, pay for what you can afford to pay for with cash. Credit facilities will only make you spend what you cannot afford leaving you with debts. Credit cards should be a no go area for college students especially if they don’t have jobs.
10. Save! Save!
Saving is a wise choice for any college student, you can start now decide how much you should be saving each month and enjoy the beauty of savings.
11. Look for affordable colleges
When looking for a college, you should look for an affordable college that offers quality education. Most colleges have their own tuition fees which differs from college to college. However, you should not be compromised by the tuition fees, look at the value of education being offered as a priority and not the low tuition fees.