About 43 million Americans are in debt from student loans. But the looming stress of borrowed money can have a negative impact on your career and lifestyle. How can you get your degree without owing more to a university than you can feasibly pay?
Here are 5 tips to help you minimize your student debt, letting you get the degree you want without the financial stress.
- Stay within your means
The best way to minimize debt is prevention. Be familiar with all tuition costs, and don’t neglect the cost of textbooks, department fees, and lifestyle expenses in your budgeting when planning. If you’re looking to be a part of a more pricey program, utilize a savings plan so that you can pay as much as possible upfront.
2. Join a work-study program
Check the job board of your university of choice- work can be available both on-campus and remotely. The earnings you receive can be directly applied to tuition costs, which helps lighten the load of tuition costs. Another benefit of a work-study program is potential networking, giving you opportunities to connect with staff and faculty that can open doors for your future career.
3. Get your degree online
School payment can be minimized by eliminating housing and meal costs. Going to school online can potentially cut out half of your college expenses because the operation cost is so low. All you need is a strong internet connection and a laptop, and the school saves money on facility costs
4. Research scholarships
Surveys show that 45% of students have a hard time finding scholarships that they are eligible for, even though more than $7.4 billion in private scholarships and fellowships are available to students each year. The money is out there, all it takes is a little bit of work to get through the tedium of applications.
5. Make a payment plan
If loans are unavoidable, make sure to develop a credible plan to pay back those loans before borrowing. Know how much you can afford to go in debt, and whether your post-graduate job possibilities would provide enough income to cover your loans. You can also speak with an advisor about available tuition installment plans, allowing you to break up the balance of tuition in more manageable portions.