4 Secrets to Finishing a College Degree with Low or Zero Debt (641 hits)
For those who are considering going to college, the potential debt that most students graduate with can seem like a compelling argument against pursuing higher education. However, there are several ways to keep this debt in check while you earn your degree. Here are four tips you need to know to finish a college degree with little to no debt.
Live at Home While You Attend College
Although tuition costs are high enough on their own, one of the most expensive aspects of attending a traditional college is the cost of living on campus. Dorm accommodations and meal plans may be convenient for students, but the prices attached to them are not conducive to graduating with a low level of debt. If you are a younger student who has not yet moved out on your own, consider living at home while you pursue your degree. You may not get the full college experience, but you will graduate with considerably less debt.
Do Your Homework to Find the Lowest Overall Cost
Before enrolling in a school, you will need to do a great deal of research into the total costs you can expect to pay at each institution. Consider the school's base tuition, any dean's scholarships or endowment funding you may be eligible for and the likelihood of getting financial aid through that school. State schools will typically have the lowest baseline tuition, so this is where your search should begin. Also keep in mind the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition costs. State residents will often pay much less than those from out of state.
Consider Online Colleges
At one time, online colleges had a stigma of being somehow less prestigious than going to a physical campus. While there was never much truth in this to begin with, that stigma has almost totally disintegrated, making online degrees virtually just as valuable to employers as degrees earned on campus. Online college classes are much less expensive than traditional schools, and most are eligible for Pell Grants and FAFSA aid programs.
Online colleges have also become a favored method of pursuing a master's degree. Online schools have democratized postgraduate degrees such as an online masterís degree in coaching by making them easy for anyone to pursue.
Earn Your Associate's Degree at a Community College
If you want to save money on a bachelor's degree, one of the best ways is to complete your first two years at a low-cost community college. Most public community colleges charge under $4,000 per year for tuition, which almost anyone with a job can afford out of pocket. Even if you can't, financial aid is still available for these institutions, meaning that most students graduate public two-year colleges without any debt. Using this method effectively cuts the cost of a four-year degree in half, as you will only have to pay for two years at a more expensive school.
College can be an expensive proposition, but with some careful planning you can graduate with low or zero debt. Always remember to save money wherever possible and apply for all public and private aid you may be eligible for, and you will graduate without the crippling debt many students experience.