It should come as no surprise that one way to avoid college debt is to choose an institution that fits your budget and a major who promises a job that pays off.
But now you can go over the numbers and find out, for example, that your undergraduate degree in music at the University of New Haven offers an average first year salary of $ 21,700, compared to the typical $ 27,000 earned with the diploma accompanied. Ouch.
These happy numbers have been updated by courtesy of the US Department of Education College ScorecardThis allows students to compare institutions of higher education according to costs, admissions and results. And now, on the site, you can tailor a search for potential debt versus revenue based on your area of study and institution.
But even if you compare colleges and their debt-to-income ratios, there are many ways to earn your tassel with less debt, regardless of your major. Read on to find out how to avoid college debt.
5 ways to avoid college debt
Be sure to look at these five student loan avoidance strategies before you can get your diploma, regardless of where you study or what your major is.
1. Apply for financial support
If you think that financial help ends up with loans, think again. Although the FAFSA and CSS Profile They are critical to applying for student loans and can also help you qualify for scholarships and scholarships.
Each college has its own deadline for applying for grants. Therefore, ask about the due date for each school you are considering.
2. Know when to say no to money
Put simply, student loans are designed to cover the cost of the college. The College Scorecard defines these costs as tuition, living expenses, books and fees – less the average scholarships you could receive.
But what is "cost of living" – is it just your dorm and your basic meal plans? Or does it include a stress-relieving evening and a car to get you over the campus? It is very likely that you will be approved for loans that cover much more than books and a dorm. However, that does not mean that you should take everything that is offered. By make a budget for the college before you accept unnecessary loansWhen you graduate, you will have less debt.
3. Get a job
Every bit helps. Repeat this sentence for yourself if you deposit this minimum wage check from your barista job. But you can also get it creative with a student job – If you have the brains, you can earn money as a tutor, or if you love nature, take part in a lifeguard performance at the local swimming pool.
Your minimum wage job alone will probably not bring you out of college debt-free. The federal minimum wage is $ 7.25 per hour, while the average cost for a public, four-year degree is $ 80,661.44.
Regardless of whether your major is designed to make you rich, you can compete and increase your earning potential after graduation apply for an internship in your field.
If you prefer to stay in your dorm, check this Work opportunities from home You can do in your pajamas.
4. Budget for the hidden costs
The scorecard contains the official numbers of the institution you choose, but there are many others hidden college costs, Even if you choose a high-earning major, such as aerospace or engineering, you should consider whether, in addition to your tuition and regular fees, there are additional costs associated with expensive equipment or materials.
And if you choose a university in a big city, you could pay more for your livelihood – but you could offset some of the costs by using public transport that your compatriots may not have access to.
5. Start paying before your grace period ends
If you take out a federal student loan, you can save a bundle of interest by paying off the interest (and, if possible, the loan) while you're still in college.
By paying off your interest before the grace period expires, avoid an event that is considered as interest capitalization, This is the moment when your interest credit enters into your capital and you receive interest on the total amount.
Although the College Scorecard provides you with a starting point for determining your debt burden against your potential income, you still have the ability to avoid debt and identify a winner.
Tiffany Wendeln Connors is author and editor of The Penny Hoarder. Read her bio and other work here, then she starts on Twitter @TiffanyWendeln.
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