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How To Afford College Without Student Loans

By Edited Feb 25, 2016 2 0

There's millions of dollars in grant money for college students, you just have to find it

How To Afford College Without Student Loans

Trying to afford college without student loans can be one of the most frustrating and difficult things that a young adult ever does. Schools these days are really, really expensive, and that's for a minor school or community college. If you want to go to a larger, more well-known university you're going to need to come up with some serious cash. Not to worry, there's lots available.

I have put together a list of things that will help you pay for college without using student loans because let's face it, you don't want to graduate with debt. You want to be done with school as soon as you're done with school. I don't blame you. With some careful planning and a bit of well-placed hard work, you can do it, trust me. These tips and tricks will help you raise some capital for school, as well as reduce your living expenses. 

How to pay for college

1. Consider a less expensive school.

If you're in college just so you can graduate and say that you went to so and so school...this article is definitely not for you. What you need are the credentials that will get you a job. Don't be a school snob. If you're having trouble paying for an expensive school don't let your pride force you into student loans. Move to a school that you can afford

2. Live on campus

Yah I know, you social life...blah blah blah. You're not in school for a social life, or at least you shouldn't be. Most people won't recognize the true value of their years in college until years later and it's a shame. Suck it up and live in dorms. The board is cheap, the food is cheap, and you're more likely to attend your classes regularly.

3. Ride a bike

Unless you absolutely must have a car, get yourself a bicycle. They don't require insurance or gas and rarely need any repair that an average user can't perform him/herself. Again, this is often a pride issue. Lose the car and you will have more cash to pay for what matters.

4. Get a job

Seems obvious right? Not so fast. I don't want to see you working at a gas station. Get yourself a job where you can make more based on your performance. This may be as a server or delivery driver where you can earn tips. It may be selling electronics as a commission-based sales person. The key is, you need to be able to increase your earnings using a skill of some sort. Sorry, minimum wage isn't going to get you through college without student loans.

Some students and even parents argue that if you work while you're in college, your grades will suffer. Studies have shown that students who work around 20 hours per week actually do better in school than students who work more than that, and those who don't work at all.

government grants for college

5. Government grant money for college

There is often state/provincial or federal grant money available for college students. Spend lots of time searching for information on these grants online. Sometimes you need to dig deep to find them, but they're there. The government wants you to attend school and they're willing to help in most cases, but you've got to work for it. There are some kits available for sale that help you find all available grants in your area.

6. Local, community, business scholarships

There are thousands of businesses that offer scholarships to families of employees or just to students in general. Get in the habit of asking businesses if they offer such a thing as often as you can. You will be surprised how many companies do this. There are also community group scholarships and bursaries.

7. School scholarships and bursaries

Apply for every one of these that you can find. If you can conceivably see yourself as fitting the criteria...apply. You won't believe how few people tak the time to do this and don't even give themselves a chance. Yes you may not be a good fit, but you also may be the only applicant that they have and win the scholarship by default.

8. Be willing to work in an underserviced area

Both Canada and the USA have programs to repay the loans of students who are willing to work in an area where their skills are required for a fixed amount of time. This is usually 3 to 5 years. You get paid just as you would from any other job, the only difference is that the government will repay your loans for you. See if this program or one like it is available for your line of work and if so, you can take loans and repay them this way.

9. Sell everything you have

This sucks to say, but stuff can be bought again. If you are willing to offload your television, hobby stuff, car, motorcycle etc. you will be surprised how many thousands of dollars you can stack up in a short amount of time. Remember that when you're done school you will be earning a good living and can buy these things all over again. Don't hang on to stuff you don't need while you're borrowing student loans. Sell it!

10. Work and save

This is an unpopular tip, but if you're serious about learning how to afford college without student loans, you need to consider this. Maybe you need to live with your parents for a year or two while you work and save for your schooling, there's no shame in that. You will be way ahead of your friends five years down the road even if you do graduate two years after them because they will still be drowning in student loan debt.

There you have it, doing these things is how to afford college without student loan debt. It is more than possible, in fact, it's really not that hard. If you take the time to search for government grants for college, bursaries, scholarships and all other sources of funding, you will be surprised how quickly your college will be paid for without student loans.

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