Ways to reduce college debt while in college

Explaining what student loans are and manageable ways to pay them off

By Sonia Arellano and Albert Floreano

College debt can shackle students for a long time if they aren’t careful./Source: Istock

 

As APB’s graduating class of 2022 are beginning a new chapter in their lives, a big concern for many is being able to afford college

According to the U.S Department of Education about 42.9 million of Americans have federal student loan debt which means that about 12% of people in the U.S carry student loan debt.  Bur first, What is Student Debt?

Student Debt is money that you borrow to pay for college education such as tuition, books and supplies and housing.  For many students, student loans are the only way that they can be able to afford college.  Student loans can come from the federal government, bank institutions or from other organizations.

There are four types of student loans that are available for students:

  1. Subsidized Loans are loans made eligible for undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need for education at a college or university.
  2. Unsubsidized Loans are loans made eligible for undergraduate students but, eligibility is not based on financial need
  3. Plus Loans are loans that graduate students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay for college or university.
  4. Consolidation Loan allows students to combine all federal student loans into a single loan.

According to statistics, the average student will graduate with $35,000 in debt which can take up to 30 years to repay. Taking on student loans means spending most of your young adulthood trying to repay them. So, What can you do to avoid student loans?

Here are some tips on what you can do to avoid college debt.

Work-Study

Do not be embarrassed to take a job on campus. This will help decrease the living costs, that way one can put the money earned towards tuition. There are many benefits from working on campus.  Work-Study programs provide the option to work on campus for reduced tuition cost.

Choose Schools Carefully

The cost of your education will depend largely on the school you decide to attend. An in-state 4- year college will cost less than an prestigious university like the UC’s schools. Or it could depend on your financial aid. For example, there might be a college offering better financial aid than the other colleges. While you shouldn’t make your school choice based on cost, it’s definitely a factor that you should consider.

Stick to a budget 

Not knowing how to manage finances can prevent students from paying their student debts which can lead to trouble. By planning and understanding your budget, you can make necessary sacrifices and avoid being more in debt. Maintaining  a solid budget is a necessary thing that all students should do.

Part-Time Job

If a work-study doest work, try taking on a part-time job. Working part-time in school will give you money for tuition and while also helping you manage your money and time. This tip only works if you use your money for tuition and not on other expenses.

Community College 

There is no shame in going the community college route. It saves money! Taking general ed classes at your local community college then transferring the credits to the university of your choice can help you lower the overall cost of your education. Be sure to check the transfer requirements first before going this route.

Apply for all the aid you can

Be sure to apply to as many scholarships and grants that you can! The more free money you can get, the better. Also make sure that you apply for financial aid. FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) determines any aid that you qualify for.

Apply for loan forgiveness

Forgiveness programs can eliminate all or parts of your college debt. While this seems nice, each program has different and specific requirements and strict approval rates. There are loan forgiveness programs for teachers, public servants, U.S Armed Forces, and more.

“It’s important to find resources that will help you financially. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and speak to your councilors. They were able to provide me with many scholarship opportunities that helped pay off my books and supplies” said an anonymous college student

“I was very excited for college until I learned about the expenses I would have to make. It’s expensive but fortunately I was informed on the ways I could avoid debt. Debt is no joke” said an APB senior

While this all seems like a lot, you shouldn’t feel discouraged by debt to go to college. These tips and strategies will help you along the way. To learn more about strategies please visit these websites:

8 student loan forgiveness programs that could erase your debt

How to pay for college: 9 tips to consider

7 ways to lower your student loan interest rate

 

 

,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Skip to toolbar