10 Steps To Make College Affordable And Graduate Debt-Free
Did you know that there are ways to go to college for free, or at least drastically reduce the amount that you would have to pay? We hear so much about getting “free” college from politicians. I put the term “free” in quotation marks, because we all know that it isn’t truly free. There are costs associated with paying professors, maintaining a campus, etc… and someone must pay for it. I won’t get into the politics of the policy here, but just remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch.
There is a real concern though, because so many college graduates are getting their degrees and have accumulated tens-of-thousands of dollars of debt, if not hundreds-of-thousands, and aren’t able to find good-paying jobs after graduation in order to pay back those loans. So how can you get a college education without taking on the burden of debt? Sounds impossible? It’s not.T he good news is, you don’t have to wait around for the promise of a “free” education in order to be able to afford to go to college.
Here are 10 steps that you can take today to put yourself on the path to an affordable college education (and maybe even graduate debt-free):
Fill out the FAFSA
Anyone who is thinking of going to college needs to fill out the FAFSA form, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The reason this application is so important is that it will determine your eligibility for federal grants and loans. Remember, you don’t have to accept all of the aid that you qualify for, this just determines qualification.
Visit the guidance office at your high school
If you are a high school junior or senior, the school guidance counselor should be your new best friend. The staff in the guidance office is well-equipped to help you when it comes to applying to colleges, applying for scholarships, and even helping you assess your strengths and potential career paths. Ask them about new scholarships to apply for. Even though you can apply for many scholarships online or through a college directly, there may be local businesses or foundations that offer scholarships through the school.