How to Graduate Without Taking on Lifelong College Debt

Although U.S universities top the charts for the best universities in the world, there’s no denying how expensive it can be to attend one. You’re probably already aware of the excessively large amounts of money that are required to enroll and successfully complete the tenure for any degree at a reputable university in the United States.

No matter how long their parents might have been saving for, students normally have to take massive loans to get admitted to a university of their choice.

In 2016, studies found that the average student had a loan of more than $37,000 by the time that they graduated. Over the years, this amount has only increased. The student loan crisis has gotten worse than ever. According to research, it is predicted that within the next few years, almost half of all student loan borrowers will default on payment. Personally, I think this is far worse in lower income households, and to make matters worse a lot of these students don’t stay to graduate.

This topic is a hot political debate these days and you’ll hear many politicians suggest they’re going to give you free education. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are two of the first politicians to propose the concept of some form of free college tuition. The bottom line is that even if it does happen, it won’t be anytime soon.

So, in a time when the economy is already shaky and savings and financial aid don’t suffice, how can students earn a degree and complete higher education without taking a lifelong debt?

The solution to that is simple and easy although not everyone is completely aware of it – attending state/ county college.

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Benefits of Attending a Community College

Attending a state or county college is one of the best ways to reduce college costs. Also called junior college or community college, state colleges offer associate degree programs that require 2 years to be completed.

Here the main benefits of attending a community college that makes it the most cost-effective way to earn a degree.

1.     Saves Money

No matter which program you opt for, state colleges normally include the same basic courses that are offered at universities for a lot higher cost. By taking those courses at a county college, you can save about a thousand dollars (or more) per class.

2.     Lowers Total Fees for University

Completing the fundamental courses from a county college will exempt you from taking the same at a university (given that your associate degree is transferrable). Therefore, you have fewer courses to complete and pay for at the university and you can still apply for financial aid and scholarships which will further cut down the total cost.

3.     Improves Your Academic Record

If you are doubtful that your current academic record will not help you qualify for a scholarship, then you still have a chance to improve it. By attending a community college and passing the courses with good grades, you can give your transcript a much-needed boost.

4.     Reduces Extra Expenses

It goes without saying that a state college won’t require you to move to a dorm or an apartment because you can easily attend it while living at your present residential place. This means that you avoid paying the rent and other similar expenses that add to the costs of college students.

All in all, you can reduce your college costs by up to 40% by attending a 2-year state college and then finishing off at a 4-year university. Just research well that the program that you choose is transferable for the degree that you want to pursue.

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12 Thoughts to “How to Graduate Without Taking on Lifelong College Debt”

  1. Kirstin

    Good idea behind the article except most people that want to pursue higher education need to obtain a degree from a university rather than a community college. Not to mention that most employers have little respect for a CC degree.

  2. Sam

    That’s one way to save money.

  3. Jim

    One of my biggest regrets is not experiencing a big 4-year college. Would have helped out a lot. I have no regrets about not wasting time on a community college when I could just self-teach.

  4. Summer

    This is actually a great idea. Many of my friends have attended community college for 2 years and then transferred to a university. They saved a ton of money, managed to transfer to top schools (if they had a good GPA), graduated with minimal debt, and got well-paying jobs shortly afterward. I recommend this method for anyone who can’t afford university tuition, couldn’t get into a decent college, or just doesn’t want to pay exorbitant amounts for an ordinary undergrad education.

  5. John

    Good advice that cuts right to the path that most students should take when it comes to their college education.

  6. CM

    Why did it not mention online coursework? I don’t understand this part.

  7. MF

    Never forget to keep reputation in mind as well. Sure you can save money, but if no one has ever heard of the college before, it may hurt your job prospects.

  8. ava

    helpful thank you

  9. piper

    great read , helpful advice

  10. Heaven

    I also believe people need to realize that going to a CC is not a bad thing. It actually helps a lot, especially if they have an agreement with 4-year universities.

  11. Jenna

    No matter where you go, make sure that you do your research. Don’t take out extra money if it is completely necessary.

  12. Mark

    These are valuable tips. I wish I had started off my continued education at a community college instead of realizing a year into my 4 year university program that I was wasting money getting the same level of education being offered at a cheaper and practically close to free rate with the help of aid.

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