Ways to Reduce College Debt

Students do not have to encounter much debt while attending college. They can find various ways to fund college, but this process requires time and devotion.  Students should consider forming a portfolio of possible funds that consists of fixed and variable financial sources in order to reduce debt. Fixed funding might come from family, part-time jobs, long-term scholarships, government grants, and government loans.

While a child is still young, parents can consider different programs that are offered by investment and/or state organizations that offer low-cost programs that let the parents save for the child’s education. This gives the parents a head start, so that the student will not be overwhelmed with the cost of college. Also, parents tend to give money to students throughout the student’s academic career.

Additionally, the student can obtain a part-time job while in school to help with various expenses such as tuition, gas, food, and clothing. Working for more than 20 hours a week is not recommendable. Being successful in college requires class attendance and focused study time.

Scholarships are helpful long-term tools to build the student’s academic portfolio.  The awards are based upon merit or interests. Typically, students are required to have at least a 3.0 grade point average in order to compete for these funds.  Scholarships are found through state funds, university funds, college funds, foundations, churches, corporations, and other local contributors. The student can access the appropriate websites for application information. The student should ask at least 3 school and community leaders to write a referral letter for the application packets.

Federal government or Pell grants are based upon income. This is money that is free to the student.  Although the government gives away grant money, they also approve loans that must be repaid a few months after graduation.  Parents of the student or the student can apply for the loans.

Variable funding can come from short-term scholarships, competitions, and fundraisers. Short-term scholarships come from the same sources as long-term scholarships. They differ only in duration. Some scholarships are granted once while others may be given up to four years.

While scholarships are well known, scholarship competitions are not as popular; however, they are still viable sources for funding. Beauty pageants are the more well-known competition while trivia contents are less well-known. Try searching online for scholarships to see what can be found. Also try logging into to Fastweb for notices on possible scholarships.

Lastly, students can be creative by hosting fundraisers in their honor. Families tend to give money at the graduation dinner; however, the student can create a fundraiser each summer with a different theme and invite relatives and friends to participate. The student can present highlights from the previous academic year and report grades to the attendees as a means of stewarding her gifts.

In conclusion, for the student who has enough discipline and drive to devote to building a portfolio for college expenses, college debt can be manageable. The student should be aware of different avenues towards successful fundraising, such as federal aid, familial support, and organizational offers.