It is no mystery that one of the largest issues facing college students of today is the rising cost to tuition, which often translates into high student loan debt. Coupled with a tough job market, many students are struggling to make ends meet. This leads to a high level of stress and instability in these young people’s lives. This article contains several tips that college students can use to remedy this potentially devastating series of events.
1. Be honest with yourself. Should you take out $250,000 in student loan debt to graduate with a degree where the average entry level job pays $30,000? The simple answer is: no. However, many students do just this every single year. It is important to be realistic about how much school costs vs. how much you can expect to make once you graduate.
2. Study hard. If you must graduate with student loan debt, increase the chances of getting a job by making the most of your education. In addition to making good grades, do internships whenever possible and make yourself an overall well rounded person through participation in a wide variety of extracurricular activities.
3. Go to a lower cost institution. Do you really need to go to a $45,000 a year school when a local state school that costs $12,000 will suffice? Just think of all of the money that you could save. Rather than trying to save money while going to that expensive private or out of state school, simply choose a less expensive school and then live like a king. You’ll still come out ahead!
4. Budget. Yes, it is fun to go out on the weekends with your friends, but it is necessary? Be smart with your money throughout college, especially if you are living on money from student loans. Just think how much that drink will really cost you with interest added in. Still have fun while in school, but look for free community activities and concerts to participate in or even school sponsored events.
5. Rent your textbooks. One of the most expensive items required for school are textbooks. Rather than buying a new set every semester, rent the ones that you do not think you’ll use again. There isn’t any need to buy them new and then resell them 3 months later for pennies on the dollar. It is possible to save up to 80% off the cost of buying new by renting.
6. Make money! Just because you are in school, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring in income. There are many things that you can do to make a little extra money during this time of your life, such as selling unwanted clothing or electronic items on eBay. Also, you can work a part time job or market any special skills that you might have, such as marketing or website design. It is possible to significantly offset the cost of your education through bringing in small sums of money throughout your college experience.