Many students graduate with tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt that they will have to pay back. It can take years for them to pay off their debt, often putting a hold on future plans or keeping them from certain goals. Fortunately, there are many ways to pay for school that don’t require massive amounts of debt. Here are five ways for students to pay for college without having to rely on student loans.

Apply for Grants and Scholarships

You may be able to pay for college with grants or scholarships. This money doesn’t have to be paid back, and it can be used to pay for tuition, books and living expenses. There are different criteria that needs to be met in order to be eligible for a grant or scholarship. Grants often are need-based and meant for low-income families. Scholarships tend to be for those that have good grades or excel in a certain area like athletics.

Inquire About Work-Study Programs

A lot of colleges have work-study programs. They allow students to work at their college in exchange for money that can be used to pay for college-related expenses. Each college has its own requirements as to what students have to do in order to qualify for these types of programs, so do some research at your school when you’re considering this option. Some types of programs have students working as assistants, tour guides, tutors, and even marketers. They can make for excellent experience to put on your resume.

Join the Military

There is tuition assistance for military personnel available, and potentially it could cover your entire degree. If you are struggling to find a way to pay for college, then you may want to consider joining the military. Each branch of the military has its own requirements for eligibility and different amounts they will cover, so do some research before you apply. There are all sorts of positions available, and you don’t necessarily have to go to war in order to get tuition assistance. You’ll also have the satisfaction and pride in having served your country.

Get a Part-Time Job

Many students choose to work when they are in college. They can use this money to help pay their tuition. Part-time jobs are perfect for students as they can work and still go to school. Many employers are understanding and are willing to work with your class schedule when planning your work schedule.

Borrow Money From Family

Family members may be willing to let college students borrow money to help them pay for college. They often don’t require them to pay any type of interest on top of the loan. This may be a good short-term solution for college students that don’t have any other option to pay for college.

College students should avoid taking out student loans if they want to avoid having a huge amount of debt to pay back in the future. Fortunately, there are quite a few ways that they can pay for college without having to rely on these loans. By utilizing the tips mentioned above, students can find the money that they need to pay for their education so that they can get a degree without debt.


Anita Ginsburg

By Anita Ginsburg
who is a freelance writer and residing in Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. When looking at your financial options for college, she recommends looking at places like the University of Maryland Global Campus, which offers tuition assistance for many deserving students.

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