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Is it better to take out a loan or to just pay the tuition?

I like to read and I like to write. I am blond. I have 4 sisters and 2 older and 2 younger. Only one of my older sisters is going to college.

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Sara’s Answer

If possible, pay it up. If not, commit to your education and take the risk.
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Dr. Roslyn Trezevant’s Answer

I discourage going into debt unless it's required. There are multiple sources of funding including free sources such as grants and scholarships that do not have to be paid back. I have provided a link below that will provide you with information regarding grants, scholarships, and loans. I encourage you to review this information in order to make an informed decision.

https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types#sources-of-aid

Excellent advice. If loan is a must, there are careers such as Medicine where certain jobs will allow the student debt to be forgiven. Anwar Chohaan

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Eric’s Answer

As many of the other individuals have also mentioned, my advice is to pay directly if you have the means to do so. The reason I say this is because the most common interest rates on federal student loans will be in the ballpark of 4-6% - equivalent to the historical return of a conservative investment portfolio. Thus, if you currently have the means I believe it would be better to put the funds toward your education than in any other forms of savings. Additionally, your education may be one of the costly expenses throughout your life, so making sure you are not leaving any amount of that outstanding, accruing interest for years to come will most likely be a huge mental relief.
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Sami’s Answer

Directly paying for the college tuition would be preferable over having to take loans. Since when you graduate from college you can have a fresh start and instead of paying your debts at the very beginning of your career journey, you can use your money to invest in yourself and maybe enroll in a certification or MBA program.
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Guadalupe’s Answer

Hi,

In general try to avoid student loans.
Directly paying for the college tuition would be preferable over having to take loans. When you graduate from college you can have a start instead of paying your debts at the very beginning of your career journey, you can use your money to invest in yourself and maybe enroll in other programs such as MBA.

Good luck!
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Parthey’s Answer

Hi Emma!

Great question. When I hear this question, I like to encourage people to think of more options outside the box. Generally, people tend to think that we must either pay tuition in cash right away or get a loan for the whole amount if we can't quite pay it all right away. However, here are some options that I would always recommend everyone to consider if they can be beneficial to you.

- As mentioned in an earlier answer, research as much as possible into scholarships and grants. This is money you can receive which you would not have to pay back! However it takes some searching to find an opportunity, and then usually would require completing an application involving an essay response to a question and possibly some letters of recommendation. Ask your favorite teacher if they would be willing to write a recommendation letter for you.

- Consider taking a gap year after high school to work and save up some money. This can also help you decide for sure what major you want to pursue in college. If you choose the gap year route, make sure to do lots of research about careers and try to shadow people or work as an assistant in areas that you are interested in. This can help you get a better idea about career paths.

- Consider going to community college for your general education requirements. This is an option that I wish I had considered when I went to college. When completing a 4 year university degree, a portion of your courses will be general education courses that everyone must take, no matter what your major is. For most universities, you are allowed to take these classes at a community college and transfer your credit if you pass the course. This lets you take many classes at a much, much lower cost of tuition.

In summary, please think about these other options before taking out a large student loan! If you do decide to take out a loan, please be sure to research salary trends for the profession you wish to enter and try to plan out how long it would take to pay back the loan. This is a very important research step that people often don't consider. I hope this helps! Best of luck!
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Trevor’s Answer

I would say it depends on the situation. If you can get loans that are no interest during college (and give you some time after college without interest), like a subsidized loan then I would actually suggest it as it will also help build your credit (as long as you are good about paying it off).
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Katya’s Answer

Hi Emma, as always it’s a great feeling to be debt free especially when you graduate from college and just begin your new life path with your future and your career. I would always recommend even now to everyone- if you have the option to be debt free and pay full tuition without any loans it’s the best way.

Of course taking loans is another way if you can’t- but then you want to check on the interest rate- is it variable or is it fixed for the duration of loan term.

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Rebecca’s, CareerVillage.org Team Answer

If you can afford tuition, I'd recommend going that route so you aren't bound to tons of student debt later on. It might seem like a lot up front, because it is, but taking out loans will be a larger sum to pay off in the end. Either way, you should not let this prevent you from getting an education! There are tons of scholarship programs out there that can help you pay for school, I'd recommend doing some research and applying to as many of these as you can. Hope this is helpful!

Rebecca, CareerVillage.org Team recommends the following next steps:

Do your research on scholarship programs!
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Amy’s Answer

Your greatest asset is your knowledge so college is a great investment however I would not suggest going into debt to gain knowledge. Not every career requires a college degree. I would ask myself what I want to do in life and if I didn't know the answer, I would go to community college and work at the highest paying job I could find (even if I didn't love it since it is only temporary) and I would pay the low tuition fees of community college with that job.
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Michelle’s Answer

You've already received excellent advices. If you can, I would recommend that you try to avoid student loans. There are scholarships and grants available. I know someone who required her daughter to spend 2 hours a day finding scholarships and grants. In the end, her daughter got enough scholarships and grants for a free ride to college.

You can also work part time while in school. I was a working student myself and I paid my way through college. It is tough but not only will you learn how to prioritize, you'll also be very good at managing your time, and you will build your character. In some cases, it might take you longer to finish college but that's ok. At least you won't have student loan to worry about after school.

Look at in-state public universities because they tend to be more affordable. You can also opt for 2 years of community college first and then transitioning to university to make it even more affordable.

The thing about student loan is that it stays with you forever. It's something you cannot get rid of even through bankruptcy. There are talks of government student loan forgiveness but frankly, I will not even take that into consideration because it may or it may not happen. Just try to stay away from student loan as much as possible.

Good luck to you!
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