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How do i get a secondary education without going into debt? #spring23

#Spring23
I want to become a doctor and go through medschool. Is there anything i can do in hoghschool/best ways to get scholarships so that i can minimize any future debt?

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Loriel’s Answer

Simplest answer apply for scholarships, if you are eligible for grants within your state or the Pell grant which is a Federal aid take that, or work a job to pay for your school(that could be federal work study or a traditional job).

If those options alone or not enough for you, & you have to take out a loan to pay for your education please shop around. Don't take more than you need and make sure you understand what your interest rates are. If you are able to pay on your interest rates while you are in school please do so and don't let them accumulate.
Yes the federal government does offer you loans but sometimes the federal government's interest rates may not be the interest rates out there.

With some institutions and some state grants in order to receive certain types of scholarships or "free money" you are required to fill out the FAFSA. Please know that just because you fill out the FAFSA does not mean that you have to accept the loans if they are offered to you.

For more detailed answers you may want to reach out to the institution that you will be attending as they may have different offers that you may be eligible for a
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Brandi’s Answer

Scholarships and Grants. Also, if you are employed, your employer may offer tuition reimbursement.
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Bianca’s Answer

Hello! It's a great idea to apply for numerous scholarships. By filling out the FAFSA, you might qualify for a grant if you meet the requirements. In high school, try to take as many college credit courses as possible, such as AP or Dual Enrollment classes. Community college is an affordable option for completing some of your required courses. Additionally, attending a school in your home state can save you money, as in-state tuition is often much more affordable than out-of-state tuition.
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amie’s Answer

1) Pursue scholarships and grants
2) Enroll in a community college (research those with the highest transfer rate successes) --> transition to a university --> attend medical school --> work at a nonprofit organization for 10 years
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Molly’s Answer

Hello,

I commend you for already considering this!

Many of the above comments I would recommend as well. Additionally, I recommend researching specific school's foundations which help raise money for supporting students educational pursuits. Also understanding the interests of the community, college, state, etc. and any specific "high-initiative" careers may better support your findings. What I mean is that if you find a career path in which is deemed most important to a specific arena of people (those mentioned above- the government, the college, etc.) that may allow you to come across additional funding. However, I would not always recommend going down a career path just because it may have some additional funding at the moment- a) that can always change and b) most importantly, you need to focus on a path that most aligns with your interests and passions.

Hope that helps!
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Blakely A.’s Answer

Hello,

These have all been great answers. Just to add on to the suggestions of community college, grants, and the military, I'd like to focus on scholarships. I was able to get my degrees debt-free by beginning my college search with which colleges/ programs offered full-ride scholarships. Many scholarships are for a few hundred or thousand dollars. However, especially if you want to minimize debt, it would be in your best interest to look at scholarships that cover room/board, dining, and tuition. Additional grants and scholarships can help subsidize the cost of textbooks.

Extracurriculars and volunteer opportunities in high school that relate to being a nurse will be the most impactful as you'll be able to communicate a clear path forward in your education and proof of forethought. However, general community involvement shows college application reviewers that you're someone who will be involved in their college's community and help them grow. You have a lot to offer, it's just a matter of communicating that to the people who are reviewing your applications.

Last thing, the college search process can get overwhelming without being organized. Start an Excel spreadsheet with columns for things like name of the college, date applied, scholarship opportunity, program cost, location, acceptance decision, ect.. This will keep you from having to go repeatedly look up information you already found.

Good luck!
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Shemar’s Answer

Earning a college degree can be a costly endeavor, but don't let that discourage you. There are various ways to fund your education without solely relying on loans. First, you might qualify for financial aid based on your financial situation. Complete a FAFSA form to find out what assistance you're eligible for, and you'll have a clearer picture of the funds available to you. Additionally, consult your financial advisor about potential scholarships or grants you might qualify for. Private scholarships are another great option; websites like Fastweb and College Board offer extensive databases to help you find the right ones. Once you're enrolled in a university, you'll discover numerous scholarships from various departments that you could be eligible for. So, stay positive and explore all the financial support opportunities out there!
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Renato’s Answer

Hello,

I concur with Mikaela that attending a community college is an excellent, debt-free approach to complete general education courses before transitioning to a state school. Moreover, numerous colleges maintain partnerships with community colleges, facilitating smoother transfers for students. Plus, as a transfer student, you won't be considered part of the incoming freshman class, so there's no need to stress about limited space.

To further reduce your educational expenses, consider exploring both scholarships and grants. Numerous grants are available to students, and there are outstanding online resources dedicated to helping you find them.
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Erin’s Answer

Hi! When it comes to scholarships, I suggest exploring these options:

- Visit your high school guidance office to see if they have a list of scholarships available in your community. When I was in high school, our school shared a list of local groups offering scholarships to seniors, with instructions and eligibility criteria.
- Investigate scholarship opportunities at the colleges you're applying to. Sometimes, just by applying to a university, you could be considered for scholarships, while other times, separate applications might be needed.
- You can also try searching Google to search for national scholarship opportunities. There are likely scholarships available for students looking to go into the medical profession.

I also recommend setting up a spreadsheet to track the scholarships you're interested in, their requirements, and deadlines. Keep in mind that some scholarship applications may need letters of recommendation, resumes, and more, so give yourself plenty of time to gather everything.

Wishing you all the best! Your proactive approach at this stage will definitely give you a head start!
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Riya’s Answer

Definitely consider taking college courses during high school if your local community college permits it! In my own high school experience, several students were recently granted the chance to complete enough community college classes to earn both their high school diploma and an associate's degree simultaneously!

Even without that specific opportunity, community college remains an excellent choice for fulfilling your pre-requisites and medical school requirements at a more affordable price. Additionally, medical school can be quite costly! Opting for a less expensive educational institution is a smart move. For instance, attending your state school can be significantly cheaper compared to enrolling in a private or out-of-state institution. This approach allows you to save money and concentrate on your studies, helping to alleviate some of the financial burden associated with medical school.
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Madeline’s Answer

Hi! This is a fantastic question - debt can be a really scary thing.

Agreed with several other commentors above - community college can be a great path to making college affordable and less overwhelming re: prices.

For medical school - I know it's all about the long game. You have to demonstrate consistently that you are up to the challenge, that you can handle rigorous coursework, and not to mention ALL the tests and applications and letters of recommendation, etc. My advice for now is to focus on EXCELLING in those pre-requisite courses, getting some clinical experience (e.g., volunteering at a hospital, research in a lab, etc.).

Also worth exploring all healthcare types of roles, in the event that you decide to take a different path but want to still be in the medical field (e.g., nursing, Physician Assistant, etc.). This is all so exciting - congratulations for thinking about your future so critically!
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Ngan’s Answer

I would try to take as many courses at community college as possible as they are usually half and less the price at universities and it's easier for you to get high grades to boost your GPA. Also, considering staying local such as going to in-state school and live with your parents if you can to save money on rent. Rent is one of the major expenses while attending college. Furthermore, you can try to apply for financial aid. A lot of my friends thought they were not qualified for financial aid, but I encouraged them to apply anyway. They ended up with big financial aid out of their expectation. Therefore, just apply anyway, it doesn't hurt to apply and you don't know what help you do have. Also, it's important to get a job while in university such as tutoring, serving and etc. Working as a server during weekends while in college helped me stay out of debt and even save huge amount money before graduating. I think you should try to stay balance between work and school as it requires discipline. But like I said, serving job makes good money as tips is good and flexible. I can ask my manager for day off in advance of a week or more to prepare for upcoming exams. Therefore, I believe that if you are disciplines and hard-working, you would surely stay out of debt while attending secondary school.
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Garry’s Answer

you could always look into the military! if you find a career you really like; doesn't have to be anything combat related. reason i brought this up was because i was able to get a computer engineering degree without paying a dime through the military and my job was working with computers. most people also get business administration degrees when working in business admin roles within the military.

Garry recommends the following next steps:

degree
military
secondary education
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Bailey’s Answer

Hi! I would recommend looking into applying for colleges that are in your state. Junior colleges tend to be cheaper, and you can easily transfer into a larger university to obtain a 4-year degree. Also, apply for as many scholarships as possible!
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Silas’s Answer

Hello! To make your education journey more effective, consider these steps: First, enroll in as many community college or high school courses as possible that can be transferred to a university or college later on. This allows you to earn academic credits before starting your undergraduate studies.

When it comes to managing the cost of attendance, several factors can help you save money: choose in-state institutions (since out-of-state options tend to be pricier), live off-campus if you can, and apply to private schools that might provide larger or full scholarships (depending on the program). Additionally, look into need-based financial aid offered by some schools during your research process.
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Trung’s Answer

Earning a secondary education without accumulating debt might seem tough, but it's definitely doable. Here are some friendly suggestions to think about:

1. Scholarships and Grants: Search for scholarships and grants from different groups, schools, and governments. There are plenty of scholarships based on good grades, sports, hobbies, and specific backgrounds. Do your research and apply for as many suitable scholarships as you can.

2. Work-Study Programs: Look into work-study programs at schools. These programs let you work part-time while studying, helping you make money to pay for your education. Ask your school's financial aid office if they have any programs like this.

3. Community College or Trade School: Think about starting your secondary education at a community college or trade school. They often have lower tuition fees than regular four-year colleges or universities. You can finish your general education classes or learn special skills at a lower price before moving to a four-year school, if you want.

4. Attend Part-Time: Instead of taking a full-time class schedule, you can go to school part-time while working. It might take longer to finish your degree, but you can avoid getting into a lot of debt. Look for flexible education programs that work well for working people or have evening and weekend classes.

5. Employer Tuition Help: See if your current or future employer offers tuition help or reimbursement programs. Some companies give financial help to workers who want to learn more about their job or move up in their career. This can really cut down your education costs.

6. Online Education: Check out online education websites that have accredited degrees and classes. Online education is often more flexible with scheduling and can be cheaper than traditional schools. Just make sure to look into the credibility and accreditation of the online program before signing up.

7. Budget and Save: Make a budget to handle your money well. Cut back on things you don't need, and save money just for your education. Look for part-time jobs or side gigs that can help you make extra money to put towards your education costs.

8. Live Off-Campus or Commute: If you're going to a college or university close to home, think about living off-campus or commuting from home instead of living in a dorm. Living off-campus or at home can save a lot of money on housing and food costs.

9. Use Tax Benefits: Look into tax benefits for education, like the American Opportunity Tax Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit. These credits can help lower your taxes while you're getting a higher education.

Keep in mind, everyone's financial situation is different, and these ideas might not work for everybody. It's important to carefully research and think about all your options while planning your secondary education to keep debt low.
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Audrey’s Answer

Hi Keva,

I see a lot of good advice so far, so I'll try to bring up something I haven't seen a lot of people mention.

I would look into service scholarships or service loan repayment programs. At both the federal and state level, they can give you almost full-ride scholarships or grants during medical school so long as you promise a few years of service, usually 3-5, to practicing medicine in an underserved community that needs more doctors. These programs are competitive, but even if you don't get into them during medical school, they also have loan repayment programs after residency if you do the same kind of service work in those communities. Our doctor shortage is so bad right now the state or federal government will literally pay off all of your student loans if you just spend a few years in a community that needs more doctors. It's a really great trade-off, and a lot of doctors I know end up falling in love with those communities and staying, which helps them long-term.

https://nhsc.hrsa.gov/ - that's the link to the national health service corps. Most states also have their own local service corps.

Hope this helps!
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