Many graduates leave the commencement stage with a degree in one hand and thousands of dollars in student loan debt in the other, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. While we can’t always fully avoid the need to borrow to cover tuition costs, there are some things you can do to minimize this risk.
The obvious answer to avoiding student loan debt is to have enough money saved to cover these costs, which likely means starting at the time your child is born. Look into high yield savings accounts or mutual funds that can help grow your savings quicker. There are also state supported funds, like a 529 Savings Plan, that can eliminate taxes for yields and withdrawals. Saving early may not always be possible, or we forget to make it a priority, but the bottom line is every dollar saved is a dollar less borrowed.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars in free money go unclaimed every year simply because no one applied for the grant. Talk to the financial aid department at prospective Universities to find out what in-house grant programs they offer and get a list of any other grant offerings that might be available. There are tons of grants out there who offer funds for career field, extracurricular activities, special talents, and some in exchange for volunteer hours.
While most kids have a college in mind they want to attend, the costs of certain Universities is really not worth the fancy emblem on the degree. Avoid private Universities and look for quality institutions nearby. Saving on room and board by living at home can significantly reduce the costs for attending college. Spending the first two years in a community college before transferring to a University can also save thousands of dollars and reduce the amount of money to get a degree.
For more information about college grants, visit: http://www.collegegrant.net/