- Apply for scholarships like a madman(woman). I helped a girl do this all through her high school years. She would apply for every conceivable scholarship she could find (I think she spent every weekend doing this) then had me proofread her applications every Monday. She graduated last spring with a pharmacology degree and zero debt.
- Join the military. No, not everyone who joins the military sees combat (most don't), and yes there are a lot of negatives to joining the military (also a lot of positives) but the GI Bill is still a great way to pay for college.
- Attend a college which offers free tuition! Don't forget to check your local state colleges, some of which offer free tuition to local residents.
- Get into the Running Start or similar program during high school. This program allows high school students to take classes at local community colleges during high school free of charge so when they graduate high school, they also have two years of college credits which they paid nothing for.
- Take CLEP/DSST/ECE tests to skip over college work that you know and earn college credits for cheap.
- Find alternative ways to learn job skills instead of getting a college degree. This is common is IT/tech jobs, entrepreneurial jobs, and even lawyers have an opportunity to do this.
- Check out apprenticeship programs. These job training programs teach you valuable job skills and you get paid for doing this! I knew a guy who couldn't afford college so he became an apprentice in the construction industry. After he got his journeyman card he worked (high paying) construction jobs during the day and went to college at night and earned an engineering degree.
- Work at a job that offers tuition reimbursement to help you pay for college. You still have to pay for some of your education but by starting at a community college and having your job help pay your tuition you will be able to earn a college degree on the cheap this way. Working at some colleges can also garner you free tuition.
- Decide if you can have the career you want without a college degree. I wanted to be a social worker but the degree was expensive yet the pay was minimal so I started a non profit and got to do all of the client assistance/social work I could handle. I also thought about being in the medical field but pre-med chemistry nearly killed me so I started a business where I did a lot of writing for the medical field; no degree required. I've known marketers who do marketing without a degree simply because they had the track record of doing big marketing campaigns successfully.
- Finally there are some weird ways to college including this, this, and this.
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
10 Alternatives to College Loans
I came across this short piece today which pointed out that 30% of student loan borrowers can't keep up with their loans. Wow. I mean it is no secret that there are plenty of people with college degrees that are still working at Starbucks or other entry level jobs, and it is also no secret that pay, even with a degree, is hardly increasing at all but I just feel sorry for people who are barely in their 20s yet have tens of thousands of dollars in student loan bills hanging over their head (which is where it will stay as there is usually no way to discharge this type of debt). Here are ten alternatives to getting student loans: