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Tips on getting a college degree debt free

The college tuition has risen significantly over the years.  What used to be an affordable investment into one’s future now can turn into a nightmare for years to come.  I have friends who have been out of school for years and are still paying down their student loans.  I do not owe any debt from my university years because I did few things right.  Let me share with you guys what I've done.

First I stayed with the university in my state.  The in-state public university almost always at least 50% cheaper than the out of state counterparts with similar credentials.  I mean if there’s a school where you really want to go because it has a certain program or professor such as the case of Warren Buffett going to Columbia Business School to be under the guidance of Ben Graham, the father of value investing, then by all means, go for it.  But if the reason you going to out of state is because it is a well known party school or you just want to be free from your parents’ watchful eyes, then it would be a waste of money.


I’ve known few people who actually went to community college first to earn the general study credits and then transferred to the in-state university after two years to earn credits toward their major.  Since community college is even cheaper than in-state university, they saved a great deal and graduated with an university diploma.   


Second I prepared and applied for scholarships when I was in high school.  I took the required classes and met the ACT score needed to get a scholarship.  I also applied for some grants as well.  So when I went to college, the scholarship and grants covered my tuition, books.  I worked many side jobs to cover the rest of expenses.  I learned a great deal on my side jobs and met many interesting people that way.  The side jobs also motivated me even further to earn a college degree so I can have a career instead of working for hourly wage/tips.  


(Data collected by Collegeboard.org)


Figure 4. Average Annual Percentage Increases in Inflation-Adjusted Published Prices by Decade, 1983-84 to 2013-14


Tuition and Fees


Tuition and Fees and Room and Board


Private Nonprofit Four-Year

Public Four-Year

Public Two-Year

Private Nonprofit Four-Year

Public Four-Year

1983-84 to 1993-94






1993-94 to 2003-04






2003-04 to 2013-14






SOURCES: The College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges; National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).


Even though the increase in tuition have been disproportioned to wages, there are ways where you can find saving and plan ahead.  The earlier the better, the old saying about those who fail to plan are usually plan to fail is true.  

Third and most important of all, even if you do take out a student loan, it really comes down to the major you choose to study in the university and eventually getting the diploma in. An engineering or business degree has a much better chance of repaying the loan than a person graduated from liberal arts/music major.  Nothing wrong with pursuing your dreams, but you still have to think about how you going to pay off the loan because remember, unlike other debts, student loans stays with you even after declaration of bankruptcy.  If you get a degree with good potential income, you can go pursue your dream and use your diploma as a backup just in case.  So unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you need to be thinking about the kind of pay you will be getting from the field of study you choose in university.

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instant decision said:

Collage education is less pricey, than universities or academies, but that doesnât mean you donât need to save some money to get your education. Scholarships are a perfect way to reduce expenses, but not everyone can get one. Today it became even harder to get scholarship if you donât really have prominent achievements, so either you start striving to get better results in your pre-college time, or prepare to save some money or get a student loan (which you will have to repay for years, by the way).

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There's a procedure involved in getting a college degree debt. We have to fulfill all the requirements to get a debt. We must ensure that we are getting debt from a reputable institution.

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The guidelines from the community colleges helps you understand about their degree programs for the future and then you must try about their services, looking forward to find enough space out there.

IRAGoldInvestments said:

Great tips, I wish I'd known about these when I went to college, as it would have saved me a lot of time and money in the long run!

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