Top Ten Ways to Graduate with Less Debt
With Graduation just around the corner, many students are realizing just how expensive achieving their degree will be. However, it's an excellent investment and graduating with less debt is easier than it seems. The good news is there are things you can do right now to help you owe less when you graduate.
1. Take Advanced Placement (AP) Classes and Exams to Earn College Credit
Compared to the cost of one college class, an AP course is free if it's part of a high school's curriculum and the exam costs less $100.2 Before taking the exam, check with your college to ensure they will award you the credit.
2. Buy Used Books
Used textbooks are just as good slightly worn as they are brand new and they can help you reduce costs. When it comes to shopping for books, you can find some great deals online from:
www.textbooks.com, www.bn.com, www.amazon.com, www.biblio.com
You may want to explore renting textbooks at www.chegg.com
3. Live at Home if You Can
When looking at this price tag, commuting from home costs much less than living on campus or on your own off campus. To help you figure out your living arrangements, make sure you weigh your options carefully.
4. Go to a State School
Consider going to a state school instead of a private college to save some money because they tend to cost less. When looking at state schools, always compare prices for in-state and out-of-state residents. In-state schools can be significantly cheaper. Also, don't forget to compare your financial aid packages because some private schools may offer a competitive award package with costs comparable to those of a state school.
5. Find Scholarships
There's a scholarship for almost everyone. With a ton of resources at your fingertips, there's no reason to pass up an opportunity to get free money. Do your research and apply early. To help you locate scholarships, here are a few great places to get you started:
By having a job, you can limit the amount you need to borrow because you're able to "pay now, not later." When looking for jobs, search for opportunities on campus (like work study) and off campus by using popular job sites like www.monster.com and www.indeed.com. Also, check outwww.CollegeHelpers.com for part-time, off-campus jobs, summer jobs, and even internships.
7. Get a Paid Internship
You'll score valuable real-world experience, build a network of professional contacts, and earn extra cash. Start your search by talking to your school's career services department and your professors for guidance and basic requirements. You can also search for internships online with www.college.monster.com andwww.CollegeHelpers.com. Remember, before accepting any internship, check with your school to verify the suitability of the position for your background and interests.
8. Join ROTC
Join a ROTC program while in college. ROTC, which stands for Reserve Officer Training Corps, provides valuable training and experience along with tuition assistance and money to help pay for college expenses. Learn more by visiting www.gcu.edu/Student-Life/ROTC.php.
9. Enroll in Teach for America
Teach in an underprivileged area by enrolling in Teach for America. As a member of the corps, you get to make an impact on student achievement. And for your commitment, you may be eligible to receive assistance in repaying certain student loans or receive other benefits, such as scholarships for grad school. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org.
10. Borrow Only What You Need
If you must borrow, accept only what's necessary to cover your college costs (tuition and fees, housing, meals, books, personal expenses, and transportation). Remember, when it's time to repay your student loans, you'll have other financial obligations as well. Financial professionals recommend that monthly student loan payments be no more than 10% of your monthly income (before taxes).
***The above information is provided by citi