Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Finish College without Student Loan Debt

Finishing college without student loans is possible! You can make it work. I am entering my 6th year of college. 12 Full semesters and several summer classes are in the book, and I literally  have not a dimes worth of debt from Student Loans. I don't want to sound braggy, I just want to help other college students save themselves from the high interest rates of Student Loans.  Here's some of my tips on how to save yourself from student loans...

1. Plan ahead. 
This applies more for high school students. During high school you have got to plan for college even if you don't want to go right then. Make good grades in high school because guess what, you may get paid for them.  Also those A's and B's you are making in your classes, benefit you greatly when it comes to applying for scholarships. The first thing they want to know is what's your GPA?

2. Apply for Scholarships
They really pushed us to apply for scholarships when I was in High School so of course I did. I received enough scholarships my freshman and sophomore year of college, I didn't pay one dime to the college and I got a pretty large refund check back.  Here's my cry, College Students KEEP APPLYING FOR SCHOLARSHIPS! This is free money ya'll.  If you qualify as an applicant, apply. If your not sure if you qualify, apply anyhow. Six years into college I'm still applying for scholarships, and I'm still receiving them.  Focus more on local scholarships, say through your employer or your parents employer.  My grandfather is in a hunting club, my cousin and I applied for a scholarship that was offered and we both received $1,000 each because we were the only two who applied. Moral of the Story, focus on local and ask everyone if they offer any scholarships!

3. Save those refund checks
When I first started school, I was receiving so many scholarships I was getting some pretty large refund checks in the mail. So what did I do, opened a savings account and deposited those babies.  That money is way better in that savings account than extra clothes would be in my closet.  Plus when I'm done with school, whatever is left can go to something big like a new car or down payment on a house. Plan for the future ya'll!

4. Check for government assisted programs
I never qualified for any of the income based Pell grants or financial aid.  However when I was finishing high school, Kentucky rewarded you for so much money every semester you had an good grade in a class. For instance, I made an A in math I received $600, made a B in English I received $400. When you started college, whatever amount of money was saved up, you received over 4 years.  Which helped greatly. So check out your government programs, your state may have some great assistance.

I have had a part time job since I was 16 years old, and I'm sure many of you readers have too. College students put a little bit of your paycheck in your savings and pay that towards your college degree.  If you saved $50 a week, in 12 weeks you would have $600 dollars saved up. That would be a pretty good chunk of your tuition you wouldn't have to worry about.

6. Check your employer for tuition reimbursement programs.
If you are employed say at a hospital and you want to become a nurse. Most likely that hospital will pay for your tuition in agreement that you will work for them for a stated amount of time. I have recently signed up for this type of program.  Some people say they don't want the contract to work at the same place for so long but the way I look at it, is either way you will have to pay for it. If you don't sign up you'll have to pay for your tuition, if you do sign up and decide to quit you'll still have to pay for your tuition. So why not just sign up.

7. Live at home
College Freshman are so excited to get away from their parents, live on their own, take on new responsibility. Let me inform you, I don't regret living at home during college at all. So many of my classmates absolutely hated living in a dorm and ended up staying at home 99% of the time anyway.  Just save the money and live at home at least another year or two, if you can. I promise you'll thank me.

8. Rent text books
I have went 5 years buying my text books. Never new and never from the university bookstore. I have saved money compared to what I would have had to spent if I bought them from the book store but renting the text book is SO much cheaper. I rented a $60 used textbook for $20 through amazon. Free shipping to me and Free shipping back to them. You can't beat that!

9. Take General Ed at Tech School if possible.
I completed a large portion of my education at a tech school and transferred to a large university later. I saved well over $3,000 a semester just by going to a tech school. It's the exact same class so why not? Word of advice, make sure the classes will transfer to the university you want to attend.


  1. GREAT advice! I'm a new follower. Carrie,

  2. ditto carries comment above. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop xo

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