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Will I have to take out student loans?

I am really stressing about the thought of taking out student loans.
I will not be living in campus dorms (I have to live at home to take care of my mom) , so I won't have to worry about dorm fees.
I am a fairly smart person, I'm first in my class and I am planning on being valedictorian, but I am still scared that I am not going to receive enough scholarships.
I am pretty sure I will be going to Oklahoma State University. Tuition is about 5k and fees are about 3k.
I will be working during college to help out, but I still can't stop stressing about the thought of being in debt for a long time.
Thank you!
#student #students #college #loans #studentloans #collegehelp #advice

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Ken’s Answer

There are two steps that will help to control and reduce the cost of college and reduce the need for student loans.

  • Get to know yourself well enough to learn how your personality traits relate to career areas and talk to people involved in a career are suited for you to determine if it is indeed suitable and get their advice and suggestions. This will allow you to plan an effective and efficient education experience.
  • Talk to people involved in your career area of interest and also people involved in professional associations related to that career area, as that may be a means of locating appropriate part time work and intern and coop opportunities which could help with your expenses. Many times these people and groups sponsor or may know of such opportunities.

Here is an important site for you to visit:

Reduce Costs:


Ken recommends the following next steps:

Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .
The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##

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Rocky’s Answer

Hi Sierra,
Don't stress about something that hasn't happened yet.
And if it turns out you need to get student loans, it's not that bad.

I grew up very poor and attended OSU.
I received scholarships, pell grants and loans that helped me.
Be sure and get your financial aid application filled out and submitted as early as they will let you.
The money is limited in some of the programs and you want to get in line early.

The loans are just one of the tools available to make sure everyone has a chance to get an education.
The payments on the loans are very low and the interest is tax deductible.
So I wouldn't worry about that so much, especially if it allows you to care for your mother instead of working all the time. OSU is reasonably-priced and you won't accumulate a ton of debt.

Your university experience will be some of the best years of your life and OSU will provide a good experience. For me, struggling with money was part of the experience. Sometimes I ate ramen noodles and bologna sandwiches to get by. I delivered pizza part time on weekends and that helped me get a discount on pizza that i used to feed my brothers frequently.

My father used to tell me, the time passes one way or the other.
It's better to have something to show for it.
Even if you don't know what you want to do, get the education.
It's part of you becoming the best you that you can be.
And from the sound of it, you're already pretty great.

Even with loans, this will all work out if you take your studies seriously and don't get distracted by too much socialization.

Go for it and try not to worry.


Rocky recommends the following next steps:

Fill out financial aid applications as soon as they are available
If you know what you want to study, check with that department at OSU to see if there are scholarships available

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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Sierra G. -I am answering this based on your expression of stress about student loans. Financial Aid is an in depth subject and the officer at your college would actually be an important person to clarify your situation.

Right now is the perfect time for you to start college. It's much more difficult as you get older, plus things do get more expensive as years go on. You will have the luxury of a traditional, on campus education. This is the best time, regardless of the tuition, there are always ways to finance your education now, especially an undergraduate degree.

It is one of life's most important investments. I know that times have greatly changed since I went to college, but think of it as investing in yourself, an important growth experience and investment in your future as a contributor to society. When ever you find yourself worrying, know that things usually work out. I can recall myself worrying about certain things also. It happens to all of us. The best thing to do is to express your concerns to your family, friends and people at the University. No one wants to take out loans. No one. But think of how accomplished you will be in four years and the exciting career that waits for you ! Right now, that's pretty important. I have to admire your concern about this because that means you are a responsible and conscientious person.

Best wishes to you in your future !