Great question, Emma. I wish I asked this before I started college.
America is in a trillion dollar debt crisis. After working in the Financial Aid Department for three years, I understand why. Sadly, federal loans are easy to obtain since the requirements are minimal. Even more devastating, young students turn into slaves of the loan provider after they graduate. But this will not be you. I met so many people who graduated college debt free, and I listed the steps on how to achieve this goal.
This professional recommends the following next steps:
- Work! Start gaining work experience now. Work part time while in school, or work full time during the summer.
- Ask your Financial Aid Department about scholarships. Seek scholarships on your own using your school's library.
- Apply for federal and state grants using FAFSA, www.fafsa.ed.gov. Seek help from your Financial Aid Department to learn how to decline all loans.
- Research the career you want before you start school, and research the corresponding salaries.