A college education can be the key to a bright future as it helps you develop the skills you need for a promising career. However, with the costs of tuition skyrocketing, paying for college should be a primary concern for you. While student loans are easy to obtain, they can lead to a mountain of debt after graduation. This debt will make it difficult for you to afford a home or even a car payment. With this in mind, here are five viable alternatives to using student loans.
Make Payments During School
Many colleges will allow you to make payments while you are taking classes. In most cases, this is only a viable option if you attend community college or have enough aid to cover most of your tuition and fees. In addition, while this may mean you have to work while attending school, you will save a significant sum of money and graduate college with no debt. It's important to contact your school to see if they do this option and if so, what requirements they have.
Use Tuition Assistance Through Your Employer
Many employers are willing to help their employees earn their college education through tuition assistance/reimbursement. How this work is if you are eligible you take a class in an approved field (finance, business, communication) and once you complete that class with a satisfactory grade the employer will pay the tuition. Now these programs and requirements vary at each company, so it's important to speak with your human resources department to learn more.
Alter Your Approach to Earning Your Degree
Instead of attending a state university for all four years to earn your degree, consider a cheaper alternative such as community colleges. Many of these schools partner with state and private universities where you can take two to three years of coursework at the community colleges and then transfer to finish your Bachelor's Degree. This approach is great because it gives you the opportunity to take the classes you need for a significantly less amount and lessens your need for student loans.
Investigate All Forms of Aid
There are many scholarships and grants available to help you pay for college. You can use the student scholarship database to find available grants and contests, which offer crash prizes you can use for educational expenses. Furthermore, you should see if any relative has affiliations with a business, religious or social society, as many of them offer college scholarships and grants. By researching the many forms of aid available, you may be able to find ways to pay for all your college expenses.
Do Job Apprenticeships
If you are looking to learn in a hands on manner, job apprenticeships are an excellent option for you to consider particularly if you want to do a skilled trade such as carpentry or plumbing. What's great about apprenticeships is you receive valuable experience while learning your trade. This approach can help you earn a healthy income in a field where jobs are always in demand without the burden of a huge debt of college loans.