Oh, those student loans – for most people, they’re a fact of life. Unavoidable, and something to be thought of later. Much later. Maybe treated like that old pair of jeans that you just can’t get rid of, but you don’t really like, so they sit in the back of your closet for five years. College with no debt seems like an impossibility.
Instead of carrying a dark cloud of student loans around after graduating, what if you didn’t have to worry? After all, school should be for learning, not thinking about how you’re going to make enough money to pay off massive debts later.
It’s important to note that you will have to be very dedicated to getting through college this way. It’s not easy, but if you’ve read this far, you can do this. All it takes is a can-do mindset, some research, and being willing to work hard.
It isn’t a big deal if you already have some debt, either. You can always make a plan and get on track to graduate without those extra expenses. So, let’s jump into how you can finish college with no debt.
1.Money from grades, activities, and more.
Scholarships are everywhere, and they’re one of the best ways to graduate college debt free. If you research, you’ll find that there are possible scholarships in almost every category. Check by your major, by your grades, your college, and even extra-curricular activities or hobbies. Some planning is needed as most scholarships have deadlines. You’ll need to apply, sometimes send in an essay, and whatever else they require.
Competition for scholarships can be fierce. Get started early and apply for many, according to scholarships.com. You won’t get all of them, but you need to get as many applications out there as possible. That way, your chances of success are heightened.
For some scholarships, you need to make specific grades consistently, or you could lose the money. Some have other criteria. But seriously, how hard are you willing to work for money you don’t have to pay back? If someone wants to offer you a full scholarship for A+ grades, then do it. Those chances are rare.
Here are some websites for finding great opportunities: Niche.com has a ton of information about schools and colleges to help you decide where to apply, etc. Another source is fastweb.com. They have a lot of valuable scholarship details for students.
Grants can also help you graduate college debt free. Depending on your state, some will offer you a grant simply because of the school you go to or if you’re in your first year or two.
It’s a golden opportunity – and you’ll need to be smart about it. This means taking as many courses as you reasonably can. Grants don’t last forever. But it is free money – FREE MONEY – that you don’t have to pay back.
Find out what they offer at your college of choice. According to salliemae.com, the best thing to do to begin your search is to get the FAFSA turned in. Start there and see what else is required.
3.Work Your Way Through School.
It takes a certain amount of time management and dedication, but so does the rest of your life, so why not get started early? If you can, it’s best to find a job that has a consistent schedule so that you can plan your classes around it.
For example, maybe you take courses in the morning and work afternoons, or work weekends and focus on school during the week. Just find what you can, and make it work for you.
It’s important to note that this job does not have to be in your field or be something you love. Think of it this way: this job lets you get through college debt-free, which is the dream of many. It gives you real work experience and MONEY!
Your job doesn’t have to be glamorous; it has to serve its purpose (paying for your tuition and textbooks).
Something to think about is you may have to be a little more patient. It’s essential to take a full schedule of classes but do not go into debt paying for them. Consult your budget and decide how many courses you can reasonably afford that semester. Yes, it can take longer. But it’s worth it not to have the student loans.
4.Local Colleges with Cheaper Tuition.
Some people don’t like the idea of community college, but it can be a great way to get an education.
The case for community college is simple: it’s cheaper. Why not take this deal? Maybe you have your heart set on graduating from a prestigious university. But even completing your first two years at a community college and then transferring can save you thousands.
College is not the time to be spending like crazy. Unless you’re a millionaire already. The more you can save, the better for your wallet and education. Here are some ideas for being as frugal as possible while in college:
· Eat cheap – eggs, sandwiches, rice, and veggies are all inexpensive, and you can save a ton of money on groceries.
· Get roommates – split the rent as many ways as you can.
· Save extra money – birthday and Christmas money, extra from side hustles, and whatever else you’re able to.
If you’ve already started college and gathered up some student loans, don’t worry. There’s still hope to graduate college debt-free. Start applying a couple of these methods as soon as possible, so you don’t take on any more debt. Then, systematically budget to pay off the rest. Even if you just take on less debt than others, you’re way ahead.
Stuff to Remember
A large part of success is being willing to work hard. It’s simple but challenging to do. Remember, no one ever regretted having no debt. Your willingness to work hard now to avoid taking on debt will pay off later when your career starts, and you can put money towards savings and investments instead of paying off college. Think of the future and plan according to that. Best of luck!