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Five Ways To Graduate Without Debt

13 July 2011 12 Comments

These days everyone is questioning whether or not the college degree is even worth the cost anymore. With thousands of recent college grads still unemployed and moving back home, many prospective and current college students are starting to believe that a college education isn’t worth it.

What most don’t realize is that it isn’t the college degree’s fault that recent college grads are unemployed it’s the fault of the terrible economy and stagnant job market. A college degree is still needed if one hopes to gain any sort of professional career, and you can bet that an employer will chose a job applicant with a degree over an equivalent candidate without one any day.

However, the facts still remain. A college degree is expensive, and the debt a student can accrue while in college can be horribly burdensome upon graduation. But college doesn’t have to be so expensive, and students don’t have to walk away with $40,000+ in student loans. In fact, they can graduate without any debt at all simply by:

Filling Out the FAFSA

Many students who would be eligible to receive federal assistance never do because they refuse to fill out the FAFSA. Many students believe that their parents make too much money so they won’t qualify, however, it never hurts to fill out the application. The FAFSA is easy to fill out, and the minimal effort taken to fill it out could be rewarded with thousands of dollars in grants and scholarships. Prospective students simply must be planning to attend online accredited colleges or traditional universities to become eligible for any of the aid they are provided.

Researching State Assistance Programs

Federal education assistance programs aren’t the only ones available to students. Many states all offer educational assistance programs. Some states provide loan forgiveness to students who choose to work in particular industries such as education or in the non-profit sector, or even just for graduating in 4 years or less. Students participating in the Texas B-On-Time Loan Program have all of their loans forgiven as long as they graduate within 4 years. Other states even offer programs to high school students to help cover the costs of in-state schools. The Missouri A+ programs grants high school students 2 free years of school at a community college in exchange for tutoring and mentoring hours.

Applying for Scholarships

This may sound like a no brainer, but you would be surprised by how many people don’t apply for scholarships simply because they believe they are unqualified. Scholarships recipients aren’t always star athletes or MENSA candidates, and many average college students receive thousands of dollars in scholarships simply by filling out applications through online searches such as Fastweb.com or Scholarships.com.

Enrolling in College Courses in High School

If your school allows you to take college courses while you are still in school, take advantage of it. Courses taken through a high school are much cheaper than those taken on the university’s campus, and can greatly reduce the years of regular college needed which can also save you thousands of dollars.

Choosing In-State

One of the biggest joys about going away to college is just that: going away. However, choosing to go to an out-of-state school comes at a high price. Out-of-state tuition can be as high as three times the cost of in-state tuition, and the benefits of attending an out of state school are only there is the school is prestigious. To save big, choose in-state and then plan on moving to a better location once you have a job.


  • lose weight said:

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  • uk insurance said:

    I think scholarships is one of the best ways a student can graduate without debt. Student should explore all available scholarships, win it and be debt free. It is also advisable for student to be saving and parent to open education savings

  • EmilyMorgan23 said:

    I guess everyone’s circumstances are different, so I wouldn’t speak to possibility in absolute terms, but I have to say that the critical issue for me, even given some scholarships and grants, was one that you don’t mention: if you really want to make it out debt free, don’t go to a private university. Knocking out some credits at community college seems to hint at a bigger principle about choosing tuition scale. Of course, my alma mater wouldn’t like that piece of advise. I think I’m a pretty interesting case study, at least, regarding the extreme improbability of avoiding loans as a Christian university student, short of a full ride. I think all of the things you say are still vitally important, even if the student can’t get out totally debt-free, because there’s a big difference between blank check and minimal debt. And you probably say it elsewhere, but the most important principle after the fact, for those of us who ended up owing, is: don’t pay just the monthly minimum. If you keep living frugally, you can get out of cash advance pretty quickly.

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  • student loans uk said:

    This is an interesting topic for every student who have benefit from government or private loans. There is lots of ways student can graduate with out debt to anybody. There is lots of finance institution out there who are ready to help student over come there loans and finance problem. This article is really going to open student eye and set them free.

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  • Click here said:

    You need to stop taking new debt completely, this is hard, especially if you’ve become reliant on credit cards for making ends meet, if you want to climb our of the hole, you have to stop digging. If you don’t have the money to pay for something, don’t buy it.

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