The cost of higher education can be daunting. However, there are ways to avoid student loan debt. As part of National College Savings month, here are some unique ways to create college savings to avoid debt.
3 Ways to Create College Savings
While you will most likely need to take on some debt to attend college, there are a few opportunities that can help create college savings to help pay for your degree. Education is a good investment, but it still needs to be managed wisely. Take a look at these three chances to reduce student education loans.
Apply for Scholarships in College
High school students are encouraged to study hard in preparation for college admissions. They are also told to apply to as many scholarships as they can. Did you know that there are many scholarships available to students currently enrolled in college?
Since many students aren’t aware of this or feel too busy to take the time to apply, you may have better odds of getting additional money for college. These scholarships can be found around the Internet on your typical scholarship search sites as well as the college or university you attend. Check with your department, individual school and financial aid office for more information.
Work to Create College Savings Before Attending School
To many parents’ chagrin, an emerging trend for students is to delay their freshman year. Some students don’t feel ready to jump into college, unsure of their area of interest or the amount of debt needed to complete their studies.
By taking a few years to work before college, you can create college savings for your upcoming education. It can also give you additional work and life experience that might guide your concentration in school.
Participate in National Service Through AmeriCorps
Another great way to gain college savings and experience is to join AmeriCorps. Americorps is an opportunity to serve alongside non-profit and community service organizations of all shapes and sizes across the country for one year. Service members receive a living stipend as well as an educational stipend.
As an AmeriCorps alumna, I can say that I received two educational awards to put towards my federal student loans. My student loans were also eligible for forbearance while I completed my service. The forbearance allowed me to participate without worrying about student loan payments on a small living stipend.
There are many factors that go into your decision to attend college and take on student loan debt. It’s important to not only be aware of all the options but to take advantage of them. It may take extra time and work, but your financial future will be better off with less debt.