How to Graduate College Debt Free

The rising cost of college tuition is discouraging many prospective students from enrolling for higher education. Their fear of landing into a debt trap on account of student loans is undoubtedly genuine.

However, soon-to-be students can take heart from the fact that graduating college debt free is a real possibility. All it takes is a little bit of planning and applying yourself.

Before we delve deeper into how one goes about graduating debt free from college, let’s take a look at how much college actually costs.

According to a report published by College Board on Trends in College Pricing 2010, public four-year colleges charge an average of $7,605 per year in tuition and fees for in-state students, whereas private non-profit four-year colleges charge an average of $27,293 per year in tuition and fees. In comparison, the cost of tuition and fees at two-year public colleges is, on an average, $2,713 per year. (

Whichever of these three options you choose, it is clear that going to college is an expense for you. So, if you are wondering how and from where to put together the money for college without resorting to student loans, here are some tips you may find useful.

Financial Aid to Cut Costs

The first line of aid comes in the form of scholarships and grants that are available to qualified college students. There are different types of financial aid for students which they can avail to pay their way through college.

In fact, the College Board report states that grants and other types of financial aid for students considerably lower the actual price an average undergraduate pays for his or her college education. Therefore, it’s important that students know the different financial aid options available to them for which they qualify, and the process of applying for them.

A lot of colleges also offer financial assistance for students to help them identify the grants and scholarships they are eligible for and guide them through the application process. Some of the popular grants and scholarships include:

  • Pell Grant: Awarded to undergraduate students from lower-income families.
  • Academic Competitiveness Grant: Awarded to undergrad freshman and sophomore students demonstrating academic excellence.
  • Merit-Based Scholarships: Awarded to students who demonstrate academic, athletic or artistic talent.

Unlike student loans, grants and scholarships don’t have to be repaid and make college education a lot more affordable for deserving students in need.

Choosing a Suitable Route

However, if you are unable to access these grants, scholarships and other types of financial aid for students, don’t lose heart and give up on your dream of going to college. There are a few other ways of graduating college debt free you could try out.

Many parents put away money for college for their kids, and if you are among the lucky ones whose folks had the foresight and resources to save for your higher education, then you can breathe easy since going to college will personally cost you next to nothing.

Another option you could explore is working for a few years before you start your post- secondary education, so you can save enough money for college. Not only it will help you learn the value of money but you’ll also appreciate your education a lot more. A lot of students work two jobs during summer and a part-time job during school to avoid debts.

And last, but not the least, consider going to an online school offering distance education, if a regular brick and mortar college does not fit into your financial scheme. The advantage with online schools is that you can save on boarding and transport, which could really bring down the cost of college for you.

Independence University® (IU) has been delivering quality distance learning courses for over 30 years. IU gives you an opportunity to advance your career 24/7 through its distance education programs offered for Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in varied educational fields. Certificates and diplomas are also offered at a distance.

Published By: Tami TU