Getting a higher education can be a very expensive option that may leave you in a financial crisis after you graduate. On average each student who seeks higher education is left with $15,000 in student loans and $2,000 in credit card debts. While getting an advanced education is a great idea, starting out in life with a large debt is not. Is there anything that you can do to reduce your debts?
The first step to avoid any financial crisis is planning. You should begin planning for how to fund your education well before you get there. This advanced planning can save you thousands of dollars in student loans and even help you graduate earlier. You can begin in school by taking all the advanced placement courses available to you. Each advance placement exam that you pass means one less course you need to take in college or university.
Another option to consider while in school is grants and scholarships. The key to getting any of these is getting and maintaining good grades especially since there is so much competition for them. You may be able to increase your odds of getting a scholarship with a little extra hard work. While everyone knows about all the big scholarships and grants available, there are many smaller ones available that are not advertised or very well known. These grants and scholarships usually come from local businesses so the key to finding out about them is to be asking questions and seeking out public records. Go to local community groups, business associates and union halls and ask if they offer scholarships and if not do they know who does. Keep in mind that a few smaller scholarships will go just as far as one large one.
Depending upon the direction that you wish to take you may consider volunteering for public service exchange for your education. The U.S Military, National Health Service Corps and Americorps will all pay for your education in exchange for being a reserve member of a short tour of duty. Your tour of duty may be as short as 10 months or as long as 8 years depending upon choices you make. This option may also benefit you since you may be able to serve in such a way that you also gain valuable work experience.
Another option to consider is where you need to go to school and when. With many programs the first few years are general studies and only the last few years are specifically targeted at your intended career. For this reason you may be able to save yourself a lot of money by starting your education at a local community college and then transferring to a university to complete your studies. Your career guidance councilor will be able to help make sure that the credits you are earning at college are transferable to the university that you intend to attend.
Getting a higher education is a requirement for everyone but doesn't have to leave you with a high debt load. With some careful planning when you are in college and by doing a little extra work you will be able to greatly reduce the costs of your higher education. And of course the more you reduce your student loans the sooner you will be free and clear and rapidly moving ahead with your career and life style that you rightly deserve.
About the Author
Jakob Jelling is the founder of http://www.cashbazar.com. Visit his website for the latest on personal finance, debt elimination, budgeting, credit cards and real estate.
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