Graduating College Debt-Free
As college tuition prices continue to rise, more and more college graduates find themselves struggling with mass amounts of debt. Although many students attend college to plan for a better future, that future is often jeopardized due to increased debt and lower credit scores. While graduating college with little to no financial debt may seem challenging, fortunately there are many ways college students can lessen this burden and plan for a better future.
The first thing college students can do is be selective about where they go to school. When Father George Rutler shops for a new car, he’s not looking for the fastest, most luxurious sports car; he’s simply looking for something reliable and dependable that gets him where he wants to go. In a similar fashion, prospective college students can look for smaller, credible colleges that fit their career goals, without the price tag of Private schools or high-prestige universities. The key to using this strategy is finding a school that meets the student’s goals and needs, but also stays within or near their personal budget.
Another factor in deciding which school to attend is The length of programs offered. Many in-state colleges offer two-year programs, which allow students to get an associate degree at a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time invested in a traditional four-year, bachelor degree program. Father George Rutler would advise students to attend a two-year program at a community college, then transfer to a bigger college or university to complete their education. This strategy helps students cut down on future debt by providing them with the opportunity to obtain a four-year degree without having to pay the maximum price each year.
For students who have already selected a school or are already in attendance, finding and applying for grants and scholarships is a great way to help minimize future debt. This is because unlike loans, money accumulated through grants and scholarships does not have to be repaid to the government or awarding agency. Students can apply the money directly to their tuition balance, effectively lowering The risk of financial debt. Another way college students can lower or eliminate debt is by working a part-time job or side gig. Although juggling work and school might not be feasible for everyone, just being able to work a couple hours at a time can help students generate a little extra income to help them either pay for school now or save for paying off student debt once finished.
If all else fails and student debt is unavoidable, The best thing students can do is research all the different loans and financial aid options available to them. From federal to private, many different loans exist, and each of these loans Will have its own interest rate and other terms of repayment. Students should apply for financial aid, review their options, and choose the loan(s) with the most affordable rates and reasonable terms. This will allow them to graduate with the smallest amount of student debt possible, thus providing them with more financial security in the future.