A recent article from WalletPop says that college debt is worse than ever right now. As college tuition drastically increases and graduates overestimate their annual incomes post-college, recent grads are left with heaps of student loan debt that they can’t just discharge in bankruptcy.
So, what are ways to avoid getting caught in this messy web of debt? For one, you can try to avoid it in the first place with these measures:
1. Scholarships Scholarships Scholarships
One of the easiest and best ways to avoid student loan debt is to find scholarships. Apply to as many scholarships as you are eligible for because you have nothing to lose. Scholarship money is good money because you don’t have to pay it back–no interest, no nothing! If you make a Cappex profile, you will be matched to all the scholarships in the database you are eligible for–start there!
2. Choose a Practical Major
If you are losing sleep at night about paying off your student loans, then maybe it’s time for a major change. Yes, that was a pun. We are strong believers that you should follow your passions in life, but if the idea of paying off your student loans is causing premature wrinkles on your forehead, you might consider a college degree that is more likely to land you a job. We did a post on college degrees to land a job earlier, and some of those degrees included:
Computer software engineering
and plenty more here.
3. 1-2 Years Community College
The 1-2 year community college trend is becoming increasingly popular as college tuition is on the rise. Community college might not be your dream school, but spending a few semesters taking care of prerequisites at a community college can save you tons of money on tuition. Just make sure to double check that there’s an articulation agreement with the 4-year university you plan on eventually attending.
One example is the articulation agreement that the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) has with Oakton Community College. Students who take their first two years of college at Oakton and earn Associate of Arts and Science degrees are guaranteed admission to IIT. Students who want to take advantage of this program need to apply for it before they start their freshman year and meet minimum academic standards. The program saves students $40,000 over two years.
You can read more about how a year or more of community college can help you save on college here (go to page 19).
Do you have any tips on avoiding college debt? Comment and let us know!