Going to college is expensive. There is no getting away from the fact that spending three or four years at college is going to saddle you with a huge amount of debt. On average, students graduate with around $37k of debt. Unless you are lucky enough to walk into a well-paid job, it’s going to take you many, many years to pay off that level of debt. The trick is to avoid accruing so much debt in the first place.
Not every student graduates with a pile of debt. Some leave college with a degree and a healthy bank account. Sure, in some cases it’s because their parents were able to help them out financially, but a few students just made smart decisions along the way. Being born into an affluent family is down to fate, but here are some tips to help you make smart decisions before and during your time at college.
Do You Need a College Education?
Be honest with yourself. Is a college degree really going to help you earn a fortune? If you are more of a practical kind of person, the sort who prefers getting his hands dirty or learning on the job, it may well be that a college education is not the right pathway for you.
Instead, consider learning a trade. Plumbers, electricians, and carpenters are always in demand and they earn good money. If you want a job for life, this is a smart move. You will need to go to college, but you won’t rack up half as much debt since most vocational training courses involve one day at college and the rest in a work-based placement. Doesn’t that sound like a better deal?
Study at a Local College
Local state colleges are cheaper than out-of-state colleges. It’s pointless applying for an Ivy League college if you can’t afford the fees. State colleges offer the same standard of education, so don’t dismiss the idea.
Online study is no longer considered a poor man’s education. You can study a masters in business administration online at Rutgers Online for a lot less than the equivalent course elsewhere. An online MBA degree is recognized by employers, so you don’t need to worry that it won’t look good on your resume. Why spend all that extra money at a traditional college when you can save a fortune in tuition fees and live at home while you study? It’s a no brainer really.
Look for Scholarship Programs
There are hundreds of scholarship programs for anyone and everyone, but if you don’t apply, you don’t stand a chance of being accepted. Most of the money is earmarked for minority groups, but it’s also possible to win a scholarship based on sporting prowess or artistic talent.
Wherever you study, make a point of looking for a part-time job to help pay the bills, but don’t sacrifice your studies to earn extra money. Where possible, look for work that’s relevant to your course, as this will look better on your resume.