Scared of Debt? 4 Ways Students Can Graduate in the Best Financial Shape By Anica Oaks

According to a report by U.S. News and World Report, the average student graduates with over $37,000 in debt. Understandably, many would like to avoid this kind of debt because it affects their ability to buy a home or start a family after college is over. There are ways to alleviate the burden of student debt. Here are four of the simplest ones.


1. Take Some Time Off/ Save Up Money

Many experts recommend a gap year of sorts to help students avoid debt. The article points out that some young adults don’t feel ready to move straight from high school to college. These students are better off working a job and saving money for a year. That money can be put toward their degrees when they’re ready for college.

2. Online Schooling

Additional training allows people to make more money. For example, a registered nurse who has already earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing might want to move into administration, but might not have training. That training will cost money. These professionals also have the additional challenge of not being able to leave the workforce in order to pursue this training.

That’s why some opt for online training. Basically, these folks would continue working in their field while taking a few online courses in administration. By going this route, they avoid debt by paying for the class out of pocket and continuing to work. The good news is this kind of training is available for almost every professional field.

3. Start Out Cheaper

Many students save money by going to community college first. This allows them to get their core classes like math, biology, and English out of the way at a cheaper price. These students can then transfer those credits to a four-year university to finish out the upper division classes that they needed for their degrees.

4. Look for Scholarship and Grants

The time to do this is often in high school. That said, a diligent search of a school’s financial aid website can be an excellent source of information. Usually, scholarships and grants are tied to the FAFSA form on the Federal Student Aid website that students must fill out to get financial aid.

Many students will get a partial or full ride scholarship for joining sports teams or the ROTC, or even for being the editor of the school’s newspaper. The more “free” money a student has, the less they’ll be paying back in debt.

Final Thoughts on Student Debt

Avoiding student debt comes down to advanced planning. Many students take a gap year or attend a community college before going on to university. This cuts down on costs. Others continue to work and study online. Finally, many apply for scholarships before ever going to college. The savviest saver uses one or more of these strategies to avoid student debt.