I Reduced My Debt in College – And So Can You!

| August 6, 2012
I Reduced My Debt in College

I Reduced My Debt in College

When I enrolled in college, I didn’t give student loan debt much thought. I was accepted into a decent school and that was all that seemed to matter. However, a year into college, I realized that I’d already accumulated a shocking amount of student loan debt – $25,000 worth, to be precise.

Tuition fees, accommodation, nights out with my college buddies and required textbooks had resulted in skyrocketing debt obligations, serving as quite the wake-up call to sophomore me.

After running the numbers, I realized that my only hope of graduating without a massive mountain of student loans would be to transfer to a state university online degree program. By cutting my tuition costs in half, I was able to retain a quality education at a far more affordable rate.

This transition worked out well for me, especially since I was able to work full-time while studying online, allowing me to pay off virtually all of my debt before I’d even graduated from school.

I understand that online universities are definitely not right for everyone, but they are a great way to reduce the costs of getting a higher education. Here are some other tips for dramatically cutting down on your college costs:

Attend a Cheaper School

Although an Ivy League diploma looks amazing on your resume, consider the huge amount of student loan debt you’ll have to take one for attending one of these prestigious yet pricey schools. Instead, be prepared to consider attending state schools, which usually offer significantly lower tuition rates. Consider staying within your home-state for school, as out-of-state fees can be ridiculously expensive.

Make Full Use of Financial Aid & Scholarships

Virtually every school out there offers some kind of financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants or other opportunities, so make sure you apply to everything and anything that’s available. You’ll likely be surprised at what you qualify for, and how much financial aid can help you reduce or even eliminate your need to take on student loans. If you’re not sure how to apply for financial aid, then pay a visit to your college’s financial aid office to get all the details.

Live Within Your Means

Far too many college students waste their money on overpriced accommodation, the latest technology tools and brand new cars – which only further raises their student loan debt. For a manageable level of debt come graduation day, try to live completely within your means in college. If you aren’t working at least part-time while attending school, then you certainly shouldn’t be spending money on things like traveling, partying, or upgrading your technological goodies.

Be Prepared to Work

You may have to have a part-time job in college in order to make ends meet, but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Part-time student jobs can provide some financial cushioning, helping you to avoid driving yourself so deeply into debt. Working and studying may sound tough, but with enough planning and determination, it is definitely doable.

College is expensive; whatever way you look at it, but your student loan debt doesn’t necessarily have to haunt you for decades to come. Use the above advice to help you graduate with a manageable level of debt and to develop long-lasting responsible financial habits. Good luck!

I Reduced My Debt in College – And So Can You!

 

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