How to Get a Degree Without Going into Debt

There is no doubting that the cost of a college education keeps going up. So much, in fact, that it has priced many low- and middle-income students out of the market–unless they want to take on massive amounts of debt. But it does not need to be that way. In fact, you can earn while you learn and this article will give you some ideas on how to get a college degree without going into debt.

1)  Scholarships

Ok, so you probably think that college scholarships are only for world-class athletes and geniuses. Well, I have news for you: there are a hundreds of college scholarships out there and all you need to do is to keep searching.

Maybe it is a scholarship that helps to attract students to a certain area of study or maybe your community has a scholarship program available. Granted, these scholarships probably won’t offset the complete cost of a college education, every dollar you get from a scholarship is one less dollar you need to borrow.

2)  Research Grants

While these grants might not be the best option for undergraduate students, you never know unless you try. Part of the trick to getting a research grant is to understand the purpose of the grant and the application process.

This is important as most grants will only earmark funds for the area of study they support and may require review by a committee and they will not only want to know your thesis but they will also want to know your research plan, the costs, and the time it will take.

That being said, if there is something you want to research you might want to check out the grant option as there might be some money out there for you.

3)  Community Colleges

Residential four-year colleges are special places but for millions of college students, the costs of living away from home to pursue a bachelor’s degree is prohibitive.  But this shouldn’t rule out getting a degree altogether.

One great option is to pursue your associate’s degree at your local community college and then transfer to a four-year school to complete your bachelor’s degree. This path has several benefits. First, the cost per course hour at a community college is usually a fraction of that at a four-year school. Second, some four-year schools will accept an associates degree without needing to retake any courses. Maybe you will need to ‘test out’ or if the community college and the four-year school are part of the same university system then they are required to accept the credits.

4)  Go Overseas

Just because the cost of a college education in the U.S. is going through the roof doesn’t mean that the same is happening elsewhere. As such, one option to reduce the burden of paying for college is to earn your degree overseas.

I don’t mean going to a non-accredited university, rather going to countries like Canada or The Netherlands to get a first-class education for a fraction of the cost.

Just keep in mind that going overseas is not a panacea. You will need to get a visa and you will need to make sure you can pay for your courses. This can mean working while you study or saving up your money before you enroll.

5)  Earn While You Learn

Unfortunately, the days of working your way through college have more or less come to an end. However, this doesn’t mean that you should shelve the idea of earning while you learn as there are many options you can pursue.

Work for students can include finding positions which allow them to work remotely or you could look for companies that employ students in some sort of work-study program. Another option is to find a paid internship, especially if it allows you the opportunity to put into practice what you are currently learning.

In addition, you could also set up a business. Think about it, some of the largest companies in the world were started by college students and this can be a great to gain experience while getting the money you need to cover your tuition costs.

There you have it, five options to help you get a college degree without going into debt. Which one, or combination, do you think would be the best for you? Let us know on Facebook.

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