6 answers

How can you limit after-college debt?

Asked Clarksburg, Massachusetts

what is the best way to manage debt after graduating college #financial-planning

6 answers

Jared’s Answer


Limiting after-college debt is an awesome goal. For starters, work hard in high school to maintain a great GPA for academic scholarships. In addition to good grades, there are volunteer programs or local initiatives where community involvement, volunteering, and contests (writing, pictures, etc.) offer scholarships. Many high schools also offer options to begin taking college credit courses that will also count towards your high school credits. You can also look into state specific grants and scholarships to reduce your out of pocket costs.

When going to college, finding an in-state school will often offer the lowest tuition rate and you can make more of your money last longer by starting with a community college. Earning credits towards your first year or two will lower your tuition if done in a community college over a larger school.

Be be sure to complete your FASFA every year and look for careers that will reimburse your education expenses. The military offers a GI Bill and many other fields, i.e. nursing, pharmacy, etc., offer tuition repayment when your start your career.

Student loans should be the last resort.

Jared recommends the following next steps:

  • Complete a FASFA
  • Research careers for tuition reimbursement

Rachael’s Answer


Before college, apply for every independent Grant and scholarship you possibly can. Treat it as a full time job. No amount is not worth it. $500 here $250 they add up. Academic and athletic scholarships offered by the school you are interested in can also pay for a significant portion. Depending on your FAFSA results, you may qualify for sub/unsub loans that don't acrue interest until you graduate. I personally took out student loans to cover the remaining because I paid my way through school and was too proud to ask for help. If I could offer any advice, if you have parents or family that can help with finances, working out a payment plan with them to pay them back may be an excellent way to avoid paying severe interest. Best of luck in all your future endeavors.

Taylor’s Answer


Lauren, this is a fantastic question that many others are probably curious about as well. My best advice is to work closely with your counselor and/or college advisor to first figure out a general area of study. After you have done this figure out what schools best align with the area of study you want to emmerse yourself in. After you have done this, apply for scholarships and grants through any available means possible. There are so many opportunities for funds, just ensure to do your due diligence to seek out all of the available avenues. If you have a plan, you will be able to set a defined track and minimize the amount of classes you may have to take to achieve your objectives, saving you both money and time. If you take out loans, only take what you need Be minimize your extracurricular costs by figuring out what is most important for you. It is important to prioritize and keep your eye on your timate goal. Most importantly have fun along the way.

Taylor recommends the following next steps:

  • Meet with counselor/adviser

Jacob’s Answer


Managing college debt is important but also subjective to each person's situation. If you do end up getting a student loan you can always try to refinance at a later date. Make sure to budget what's within your means. Speaking with guidance counselors and mentors around you to see what's best for you.

Tasha’s Answer


Lauren that is a great question. To limit your debt start by obtaining scholarships and/or grants. This money typically does not have to be repaid. You can also look to work at companies that will pay for you to go college. Loans should the last resort.

Arthur’s Answer


This is a terrific question! College debt can hurt you in many facets of your life especially financially. The first thing you want to do is apply for any grants, scholarships and other alternative funding programs you may qualify for. Education is very important as well as doing your homework on funding. Research as much as you can and speak to knowledgeable people in the field and previous students that learned best practices after the fact.

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