One of the most challenging parts of college is finding a way to pay for it. Many students end up borrowing student loan debt.
Student loans can limit what you can do after graduation and become a real obstacle in starting to build a fortune and have a solid future. Here are five ways to reduce the amount you have in student loans when you graduate.
Choose an affordable school
While it might be nice to go to a dream school or an Ivy League college, it may not be as helpful as you think when you look at the price.
A good government school where you qualify for in-school tuition can make attending college much more affordable.
Depending on your career goals at community college for a year or two, you can also help reduce your tuition costs. This can help you reduce the amount you only need to borrow to cover your tuition costs.
Apply for need-based scholarships and grants
It is important to apply for a Pell Grant every year, as many schools also review this information to determine need-based scholarships. In addition, you should look at government grants and school scholarships and grants.
There are scholarships and grants available to help students even if they do not have perfect grades but are looking for a job for them. Eligible grants must be sought.
Talk to your professors, your academic advisor, and the financial aid office. Each of these people can know about the different opportunities you can fulfill.
Work at school
When you work, reduce the amount you need to borrow for school. Part-time work can help reduce the amount you need to borrow for living expenses. You can also use the money you made and save it to cover your tuition costs. Some students do better in school with a structured schedule that includes part-time work.
Some employers will offer tuition reimbursement. This means that they will pay a certain amount each year towards tuition and classes. They may have guidelines for the types of classes to cover or maintain a specific GPA. This option will help you earn money for your living and cover some of your tuition.
Looking for jobs with higher earnings and less time you have to put in. Instructors can earn as much as an hour, as do waiters if you find the right restaurant. Hours are more flexible with your schedule.
Find ways to save on living costs
Many colleges expect students to live in a dorm, which is often more expensive than living off-campus. There may be exceptions to this, depending on where your college is located. When you live off-campus, you can split your rent with roommates and this can help reduce your overall expenses.
There are student-friendly apartments that allow you to sign separate leases and will help you share utilities. You can also save on the amount you pay for food as a meal plan can be very expensive. It can be cheaper to prepare one large meal than several smaller meals. You can set up a group where you cook for each other and reduce the amount you spend on food each month.
Skip the car
While it’s nice to have a car, it’s not a necessity while in college. Generally, public transportation is good in a university setting, and you can usually find someone to take the store to you if you need to.
You can take a taxi or use a car-sharing service for such cases. When you skip a car, you can save on gas and maintenance, insurance costs, parking costs, and possible car payments. These savings can be added up quickly and you may be surprised at how well you can move without a car while in college.
Live like a college student
When you first go to college, it can be a rude awakening. All of a sudden you have to pay for things that have magically turned up in your home, such as shampoo and food. Many students have a hard time giving up and continue to buy and spend the same way they did while living at home.
You can easily save money by living like a poor student that you are. That means you don’t buy a new outfit or video game every weekend. That means looking for cheaper forms of entertainment.
You should still enjoy the time you spend in college, but in a way that doesn’t cost you much money. Creating a college budget and sticking to it can help.