Student loan debt represents roughly 65 percent of college seniors' total debt. And, with student loan debt at all-time highs—$1.48 trillion at the Fed's most recent tally in 2019 Q2—you might be looking for a more cost-effective method to go to college. After all, the cost of a college education has only increased in recent years.
However, there are a number of ways for you to be compensated for going to college. Yes, I do believe that. We examine the most popular ways students might be compensated for attending colleges, such as corporate tuition reimbursements, career-specific tuition benefits, college financial help, no-loan universities, and even scholarships and grants.
Tuition Reimbursement for Employees
Corporate tuition reimbursement is the process whereby your employer pays for you to enroll in college so that you can advance your education or earn a degree. This choice is only available to individuals who are currently employed, but it has the potential to pay off handsomely.
To be qualified for tuition reimbursement, you must meet your employer's set criteria. In most cases, you'll have to:
- Keep a specific grade point average (GPA).
- You may be needed to take classes or obtain a degree in your chosen field.
- After getting tuition reimbursement, you must work for your firm for a certain amount of years.
- The courses will be purchased with tuition reimbursement, and your employer will reimburse you later.
Tuition Benefits for a Specific Career
You might be eligible for grants or scholarships to support you pay for college based on your field of study. For example, if you work in the nursing industry, the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program will cover up to 85% of your nursing-related student debt
. Simultaneously, the National Institute of Mental Health Loan Repayment Program will return up to $35,000 of your student debts each year
The Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness programme is another well-known one; it allows you to have your Direct Loans—federal student loans managed by the US Department of Education—forgiven after 120 qualifying monthly payments.
Colleges with No Loans
No-loan universities are another excellent option for saving money
while attending college. These institutions offer grants and scholarships to assist children pay for education, but they do not offer federal student loans
Note: The admission rates to these schools are typically low, but if you are accepted, they can help you minimise or even completely avoid taking out student loans.
It's worth mentioning that no-loan universities don't restrict you from borrowing money. In reality, many of them demand financial donations from parents or students. If that isn't feasible for you and your financial condition, you may need to borrow money
to make ends meet.
All of the many financial options that assist you in paying for education are referred to as financial aid. Examples are grants and scholarships (more on that below), loans, work-study employment, and federal financial aid. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for federal financial aid.
Important: Remeber that while grants, scholarships, and work-study funds are not required
to be repaid after graduation, any loans you take out during school (both government and private) must be paid back with interest.
In this instance, federal loans are usually preferable because you have a variety of repayment alternatives, which include earning-based repayment, and you might be qualified for student debt forgiveness.
Another strategy to save money and avoid debt throughout your college years
? Consider taking on a part-time or work-study position on campus. It's a fantastic way to stay out of debt, make some extra cash
, and gain useful work experience.
Grants and Scholarships
Applying for grants and scholarships to help finance your tuition can help you avoid accumulating student loan
debt while in college. Begin on a small scale. Look into any scholarships offered by your high school, your parents' company, or any other nearby businesses.
Then go online and conduct your search. There are numerous scholarship choices to choose from. To identify scholarships that are a good fit for you, try exploring databases like CollegeNet.com. Remember, you can't win until you apply, and no scholarship or grant is too little. When it comes to funding education and preventing student loan debt, every dollar matters.
It may appear that student loan debt is unavoidable. It may seem commonplace to take out loans with the purpose of paying them back after graduation. You might be able to avoid becoming one of the approximately 65 percent of college graduates who have student loan debt, though, with a little effort and creativity. We're telling you, your future self will be grateful.