This is a great question! If you are still in high school and your school allows Dual Credit (high school credit given for college courses taken in high school), then this is the biggest way you can begin to pay less for college and this borrow less in return. Most DC (dual credit) courses are given at a lower rate than you would pay in college or can be taken at a community college which costs less than 4 year colleges.
The second way to borrow less and borrow less is to attend a community college first. You can live at home and classes cost less than a 4 year college.
The second way to borrow less, is to work at a part time job. Pay for some of your expenses yourself rather than borrow money to pay for everyday items.
Most colleges have an estimate of the costs of enrolling in their school that are fairly accurate. Check out their websites for prospective students. Create a budget that you can use as your guide to compute the amount you will need per semester. There are plenty of these sample budgets on the web. Only borrow what you know you will need and use. Don't be enticed to borrow more than you need and don't use credit cards except for true emergencies.
All of these ideas should keep you from borrowing too much and give you a better idea of how much you may need to borrow.
Jill recommends the following next steps:
- Take dual credit classes while in high school.
- Enroll in community college near your home.
- Check out college websites for cost calculations.
- Create a budget using samples from the web.
- Get a part time job.