Not every student will be able to graduate from college with absolutely no debt, but it is important to keep loans to a minimum. Even with low-interest rates, student loans could eat away at a graduate’s finances for years on end. Here is a look at some tips that parents and their children can use to avoid debt during college.
Start Planning Early
The single best thing that a family can do is to start making financial plans for college as early as possible. Options such as a 529 Savings Plan will allow parents to start saving for their child’s upper education as early as they would like. In addition to appealing interest rates, many of these plans are tax deductible or offer tax credits for the entire family.
Explore Your Employee Benefits
Parents and their children should speak with their current employers about potential scholarships, grants, or reimbursement programs. Many people are surprised to hear just how many national and international companies will reimburse their employees for heading back to school. Parents who have previously served in the military or another government organization should see if their child is eligible for any grants or rebates.
Establish a Way to Transfer Emergency Funds
College can be expensive enough on its own without maxing credit cards due to emergencies. Students should speak with their parents about ways they can transfer money quickly and with minimal fees while at college. Options such as Sharemoney.com can be used to transfer money to a struggling student so that they can avoid overwhelming credit card interest rates.
Start at a Local College
Practically every college offers discounts to students who are residents of that state. In some cases, tuition is doubled for out-of-state students, and this should be avoided for at least the first few years. Taking introductory classes at a city college or nearby state school could save a student thousands of dollars.
Explore Accelerated Programs
Not every student gets to college knowing exactly what they want to do for the rest of their life, but those who do should consider applying for an accelerated program. These programs essentially streamline the classes that a student must take in order to graduate by combining certain courses or taking them out of the curriculum.
Stepping out of college with a diploma in your hand and little or no debt will put you in an excellent position to begin building your credit at the job of your dreams.