With the average student loan debt topping over $30,000, students all over the country are looking for other ways to pay their tuition. Today, I want to share five things that you can do or get that will help you pay for college without having to use student loans.
Scholarships are the first thing on my list. Scholarships are money that students are awarded that doesn’t have to be paid back. There are thousands of scholarships out there. Some will pay your full tuition and fees. Others will only pay a percentage of it. There are several places to check for scholarships. You can check with the financial aid office or scholarship office on your local campus. You can also visit websites such as Fastweb, Scholarships.com, and StudentAid.gov.
Qualifications for those scholarships vary. For some, you have to have a particular GPA. For others, you have to have a certain SAT or ACT score. Check the rules when applying so that you don’t waste your time applying for something that you don’t even qualify for.
Grants are free money that also doesn’t have to be paid back. One of the most traditional grants out there is the Pell grant. It is awarded to students based on the EFC score if they are 24 or older or their parents EFC score if they are under 24. To find out what other grants are available, check with the financial aid office.
Depending on where you work at, your job may be able to give you some money for school. Some companies offer tuition assistance to their employees. The amount of money you can receive will be figured out by the company. If you were in the military, you can find an online college with tuition assistance for Air Force Veterans.
Community or Trade School
Attending a community college or a trade school is something else that you can do to get an education without using loans. Community colleges and trade schools are much cheaper than a 4-years university. At these schools, you typically just have to pay the tuition, and that’s it. You could potentially save thousands of dollars by going to a community college or trade school. Degrees from those schools work just as well as degrees from larger institutions.
The final way that people are paying for college without using student loans is to pay for them with their own cash. This isn’t an option for everyone, but if you can do it, make it happen. I wish I would have been able to pay for my tuition in cash. I hate having a student loan bill eight years after I graduated. That money could be going to something else.
Paying for college without using your student loans can happen. You may have to get a scholarship, a grant, check to see if your job has tuition assistance, attend a community college or a trade school or use your cash but it can happen.