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Making it Through College Without Debt

9 January 2017 One Comment

Studying can be incredibly expensive. With not just tuition fees to think about, but also course materials and the rising costs of living, the average student finishes college with over $37000 in debt. This only looks set to rise in future years. It is possible to finish school without debt, or at least a significantly smaller amount. These tips should be able to help you.

Consider Your Entitlements

You may be entitled to a scholarship, grant or bursary. Before you consider anything else, check what you might be entitled to, or stand a chance of getting, and apply. If you need any help with this, contact financial services at your school. There are also federal loans available for students, but make this your fallback option.

Study Online

Studying online, such as an online computer science masters, can be a great way to avoid debt. While you’ll still be subject to fees, it gives you a lot more flexibility. This may give you further chance to make money, but might also mean you don’t need to move away from home. It is also worth noting that online students are still eligible for financial support.

Earn Money Online

There are many ways to make money online, while still having plenty of time to study. A few examples are:

  • Start a blog and grow your following. Then make money from either advertising or affiliate marketing. Blogging about your studies is a great idea.
  • Online market research. Secret shopping doesn’t pay much, but you could get free shopping or meals.
  • Some websites pay up to $5 per survey. You just have to answer some simple questions and give your opinions on products or services.
  • Selling your skills. You could sell crafts on Etsy, or sell your talents as a writer or photographer on freelancer
  • Some people actually make a living winning online competitions. You may have to enter a lot to win big however.


Save where you can. Even little bits saved often can make a difference. Try using an app to help you, or set up an automatic transfer of a small amount each week into a savings account. You probably won’t even notice its gone.

Be Frugal

Be careful, and make cutbacks. There are many simple ways to save money. Over the course of a year you could find you’ve saved a lot, just by making small changes. Things you could try include:

  • Walking instead of driving or using public transport. This has the added bonus of keeping you fit.
  • Making meal plans and shopping lists. Then make sure you stick to them.
  • Trying cheaper alternatives and cooking your meals from scratch, and in bulk. Freeze portions for another time.
  • Make gifts and cards instead of buying them.
  • Buy clothing, books and DVDs second hand. Charity shops are a great place to look for bargains.
  • Repair things instead of throwing them away. We so often buy new, when there really is no need. Teach yourself some basic sewing and repair skills or ask for help.

This should be an incredibly exciting time in your life, as well as an investment in your future. While courses such as an online masters in computer science will almost certainly lead to a well-paid job in the future, there’s no reason you should spend the rest of your life paying for it.

One Comment »

  • Vlad said:


    Really good piece and really useful advice. Thanks.

    Best Regards