What I normally recommend is seeking scholarships and taking what you need in loans but try to stay with government-backed loans if at all possible. Then when you graduate seek a job immediately and see if they have a continuing education program for a higher level degree and if so use that to jump start continuing your education at a slower pace but funded by the company you work for. While continuing school you should be able to have payments and interest deferred on a subset of your student loans. During that time period focus on paying down the high loans that you are unable to differ interest on.
This works well if you are seeking a profession where you can start in an entry-level role with an associate's degree then use this process to help with funding your advancements.
The best way to minimize "loan damage" after graduation is not to take any out... Student loans are miserable and many folks have them hanging around for 20+ years after graduation. Take it from someone that knows... First, Apply for as many scholarships as you can. Apply for 10-20 a week or more, make that your part time job. Second, pick a school that you can afford to pay for. Third some schools have a monthly payment plan for tuition. You will need to check with the school you are applying at to verify. Finally look at working at an employer that helps pay for college. a quick Google search shows Publix, Wells Fargo, Comcast, Starbucks, AT&T and Bank of America are in your area and they all have some form of tuition reimbursement.
Scott recommends the following next steps: