Student loans are a wonderful way to finance your college education. However, like any loan, they have to be paid back and you will find yourself paying more money than your borrowed. Even federal loan program subsidized by the government comes with interest. If it is possible to pay for college without spending money and taking out student loans, do it. Graduating from college with a mountain of debt will put you in a stressful financial position. Here are some tips to finding other ways to pay your tuition.
1. Apply for scholarships. If you are a smarty pants or a star quarterback, see if you can get a college to pay you money instead of you paying them money. Many schools offer to finance education through scholarships, to the best and brightest students every year. Demonstrate your promise and your potential, and see what scholarships are best suited to your skills and talents.
2. Look for grants. Money to finance your college education, that you do not have to pay back can come in the form of grants. You might qualify for the Pell Grant, which is based on financial need. If you are eligible, you can get a good chunk of money to finance your tuition.
3. Work study. Working your way through college can teach you a lot about time management and the value of money and other resources. Many colleges will offer you a work/study option to help finance your schooling. In exchange for all or partial tuition, you can work in the bookstore, cafeteria, gymnasium, or assist a professor or tutor fellow students. This money then goes directly to your tuition, room and board, or books.
4. Work off campus. Going to college without taking on additional debt might mean non-traditional options of making money. You can go to school at night or online while you work full time, for example. Your salary can finance your tuition and you will not have to take out money in student loans.
5. Plan ahead. If your parents did not have the good sense to start a college savings plan, such as the 529 plan to help you finance school, you should start one yourself as soon as you realize you want to go to college. With this plan, you can save money annually to be used towards college tuition. Check into the finance plans your state has available.