It is probably one of the dreams of every student to have a debt free college education. Luckily there are a few ways to get through college without having a heavy debt burden hanging over your head for years. Here are a few ways I can think of to graduate debt free. I used a couple of these methods myself.
Debt Free College Education Tip #1 – Get your Employer to Pay
Tuition reimbursement plans are a way of getting your degree on your employer’s dime. Tuition reimbursement means that your employer will pay you back once you have completed the degree you enrolled in if you follow their eligibility guidelines. Some companies will require you to maintain a certain GPA to be eligible. Other companies may require you to stay on as an employee for at least a few years after graduating. Usually the requirements are a small price to pay for getting a free education.
Debt Free College Education Tip #2 – Score a Scholarship
There are plenty of scholarships out there for ambitious students. Keeping a high grade point average throughout your high school years or scoring an extremely high SAT score can put you in line for a debt free college education. There are also a bunch of scholarships available for almost every school activity including band, choir, and Student Council. Scholarships exist for specific cultures or circumstances as well. I think that there are at least a few scholarships to apply for no matter who you are.
I personally received one main scholarship before I started college, the Academic Achievement Award, for having a high SAT score. I then applied for and received several other scholarships my freshman year from my minor, my student job, and even from the Honors College.
Debt Free College Education Tip #3 – Pick the Right Major
Your major can go a long way to determining whether you will owe money on your loans after college or not. Nursing majors are so in demand that, in some cases, their loans are being forgiven by government agencies. The federal government will forgive a certain percentage of the student loan amount owed for every year of employment. They also receive their regular salaries and benefits too. I also know a few teachers that chose to work in the poorer districts for several years to get student loan debt forgiven.
Debt Free College Education Tip #4 – Get a Job
Another way of obtaining a debt free college education is to get a job. I worked in several on campus positions throughout college and polished off my last year with 3 part-time jobs in total. I worked in the on-campus Games Room after my Tuesday and Thursday classes, was a receptionist at a tax office Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and dealt blackjack or poker for business events on Friday and Saturday nights. I had friends that simply took paid summer internships to pay off the majority of their bills.
In short, it is possible to get a debt free college education in a variety of ways. Even if you don’t graduate completely debt free, these suggestions could help you keep your student loans to a minimum.
If you must get a loan to complete your education, contact your school’s financial aid office before you begin. This office will help you come up with a solution to your financial problems and will walk you through the entire application process. You could be eligible for Federal Financial Assistance, which comes in the form of both loans and grants. Online schools are noteworthy because they often provide the maximum assistance you will need to pursue your education, while allowing you to still work and support yourself through school. If you put in the research and work needed to receive a grant, it will help ensure that you receive enough money to pay for your education.
Can you think of any other ways to help put a dent in college costs?