Students all over the world rack up trillions of dollars in debt just trying to get a university education. This may make you wonder whether there are ways to get through college with no student loans. Sure, there is!
Here are 11 ways to pay for your college tuition without being overwhelmed with debt.
Find Out Whether Your Parents are Willing to Get a Reverse Mortgage
Many parents would love to sponsor their children through college so that they’re not saddled with student loans after graduation. However, most parents simply cannot afford this. The good news is that parents who own a home can take out a reverse mortgage on their home to raise tuition funds. Ask your parents to use a reverse mortgage calculator and find out how much they’re likely to get in a reverse mortgage. Reverse mortgages allow homeowners to borrow money using their home’s equity as collateral. This kind of loan is not paid back until when the homeowner passes away or decides to sell the home.
It’s recommended to be proactive by saving up some money before applying for college. This way, you get to graduate while debt-free.
Even if you couldn’t fully cover the college fees, you’d keep your loan to a minimum. Most importantly, you should start saving sooner rather than later.
Apply for Scholarships.
Every year, the Department of Education offers college scholarships worth billions of dollars. Besides, private companies and foundations award millions of dollars in scholarships.
Typically, these scholarships are merit-based. So, it’s essential to do your homework to learn what’s best for you and avoid scholarship scams.
Apply for Grants.
Scholarships are based on merit, but grants are need-based. In other words, you may qualify for grants if you display an exceptional financial need.
Grants can be offered by governments, colleges, and non-profit organizations. Be mindful that you may be required to pay back the grant fees if you withdraw from college early.
Make an Informed Choice.
As students begin returning to collect post-covid, you should research colleges that have the best financial aid programs. Some elite schools, like Ivy League, may even offer effective programs for upper-middle-income families.
In addition, research some local colleges and compare their tuition fees to the expensive ones after applying the financial aid. By doing this, you’ll be able to choose the most affordable one.
Go for a Community College.
If you’ve considered the latter option and still can’t afford it, you should opt for a community college. Community colleges offer education at reasonable fees.
You can choose one with programs and credits transferable to other prestigious schools. This way, you can study there for the first two or three years. By the time you’ve saved money, you can transfer to another well-known college.
Negotiate with the Financial Aid Office.
If you’ve already been offered a place in a college, try to negotiate with the financial aid offices.
Take into account that some financial aid officers don’t have the luxury of offering you better deals. Still, it’s good to ask questions.
Work While Studying
Even though work can hold you back from graduating on time, this is a good way to avoid student loans.
In this situation, you’ll have two options: either work part-time and study full-time or study part-time and get a full-time job.
Apply to the Federal Work-Study Program.
In case you qualify for the Federal Work-Study Program, you’ll get jobs on-campus or off-campus. Better yet, those jobs would be related to your study, which will give you first-hand experience.
Additionally, you’ll be able to start networking with people working in your field.
Set Up a Crowdfunding Account.
This is one of the newest ways to get help with paying your college tuition fees. Simply try to raise money for your college education on one of these websites: GoFundMe, DreamFund, and YouCaring.
This works best if you already have an inspiring personal story that would entice potential donors to decide to fund your college tuition.
Fill Out a Federal Student Aid
When you apply for Federal Student Aid, you may get lucky and qualify for the Pell Grant, which offers free funding.
Some college students fill out the application yearly. Getting a loan at the minimum amount can save the day.
Live On a Budget
This route won’t work unless you have a specific budget. Not only this, you need to have the will to stick to it and use your money wisely.
If you need help with this, you can use a free budgeting tool to keep track of your money spending.
The Bottom Line
To avoid paying for college tuition through your nose, consider these 11 ways to get through college with no student loans.
In the best-case scenario, you can pay for college with your own money, while in the worst, you’ll be able to cut down the loan amount.