Student debt is often at the top of the list of preoccupations for new students. As a matter of fact, it is estimated that American students owed a total of 1.3 trillion dollars in student debt in 2016 with no signs of slowing down on the horizon. But, are there simple ways students can reduce student debt or steer away from it altogether? Well, as a matter of fact, there are, and in this article, we’re going to explore three tips every student can apply to reduce student debt.
Choose the Right College
Many people make the mistake of going strictly for Ivy league schools thinking that they will ultimately be the best choice for them. However, not all of us may have the money to attend Ivy League schools and the advantage Ivy league schools offer in terms of prestige often has little impact on job prospects.
A better idea would be to go for a lower division school that is specialized in the area of study you’re interested in. This will give you the opportunity to save on tuition while getting an education that will be well respected by most institutions.
Better yet, go for an online education. George Washington University has a great online masters in political science program that is very affordable compared to many colleges. In addition, online political science masters are widely accepted by most organizations. In addition to political science, MBAs, Psychology and Healthcare Administration are all majors that are very popular among online students.
Consider Federal Loans
The federal government has tons of low interest financing options available to students. Direct subsidized loans are usually awarded based on needs while direct unsubsidized ones aren’t necessarily.
Even if you think you wouldn’t be eligible, it is always better to apply for these sort of loans. Every student should consider filing their Free Application for Federal Student Aid to see which type of loans is available to them. However, make sure that you are fully aware of the deadlines to submit your application. Deadlines vary on the State level while the deadline usually falls on June 30th at the federal level.
Try Scholarships and Grants
Again, many students believe that for some reason, scholarships are unavailable to them. However, it’s always better to consider applying for a few of them. Many organizations, such as the private organizations, state government, federal government and certain colleges offer tons of scholarships based on different criteria.
Note that grants are usually awarded based on need and scholarship on merit. However, you can apply for a grant even if you don’t feel you are in need and the notion of merit can vary from scholarship to scholarship. For instance, the David Letterman scholarship at Bell University doesn’t have any specific academic requirements and is awarded based on the student’s character, personality and a realistic expectation that the student will work in the telecommunications industry.
Reducing the cost of your tuition and student debt is easy if you take the proper steps. Whatever you do, make sure that you take advantage of all the financing options available to you, don’t stick to Ivy League schools only and consider applying for grants and scholarships even if you aren’t athletically inclined, academically gifted or in dire need.