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Ways to Avoid Hefty College Loans

Updated on November 15, 2012
Applying for colleges and loans
Applying for colleges and loans | Source

Going to college means to get into the process of acquiring the knowledge of developing the powers of reasoning and judgment and preparing for a mature life.

Literacy is considered supreme ‘cause it enlightens the mind and prepares for a brighter tomorrow.

Many noted leaders have quoted Education to be a fruitful experience.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Nelson Mandela

“When you know better you do better.”

Maya Angelou

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

Malcolm X

Since, nothing comes for Free; going to college also requires money in fact, lots of money. However, when an individual is determined to educate himself; there are ways to avoid hefty college loans.

Some of the tricks are below:

  • Get some cash flow by getting a job where the income is sufficient to pay the ongoing bills. Cash is king and an individual got to keep a detailed cash flow projection before taking a loan on his/her education.
  • Research student loans and find how much federal aid you are eligible for. Go to FAFSA and get to know what your worth.

  • Once you know your worth. Choose a couple of colleges that fit your budget. It’s never advisable to take a big leap on your financial loans. Always be within your budget; since that will help you pay back the loan once you are a graduate. Public or state universities can be overwhelming ‘cause of the size but large schools offer more scholarships, internships and more resources like tuition installment plans that can make going to college affordable.
  • Also look into universities that offer tuition compact program where the tuition cost would not rise until the student graduates. That is another good way to save on costs.
  • Apply for as many Scholarships you can qualify for. There is a chance that you will get only 1 or 2.
  • Purchase your textbooks before the semester starts and try to get it from sites that guarantee cheaper rates and give you good bargains.

Some of the sites are:

Some other options to save on money is:

  • Get on-campus jobs ‘cause that does not need you to travel far and your employer would be understanding of your class schedules and project obligations. However, on-campus jobs are for the school year only. If the individual plans to continue their job all year, he/she should inquire about summer employment.
  • Experience counts. Any kind of college job will go on the student’s resume and be regarded as work experience.

  • It is never too late to look for new scholarship applications. Any break can be a good time to explore new scholarship options. Apply for as many external scholarships you qualify for, since not all offer the same choices. Below is the list of some external sources, which hand out money to students under different criteria’s.

Below is a list of sites that have proved useful to many for getting scholarships.

Some other options also include:

  • Community Colleges are also a good and cheap source to finish your pre-requisites prior to enrolling in a semester in college. Once the pre-requisites are done, make sure they are transferred to the college of your choice.
  • When it gets overwhelming there is no harm in taking a break from your academics and getting a full time job to stock up on your cash flow.

Going to college gives a person confidence to deal with the day-to-day challenges. I am sure; we will have a brighter and confident future generation to take on the reins of our country and help make wise decisions to keep this planet a safe and serene place for all living beings.


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    • BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

      Jack Hazen 

      6 years ago from Blitzburgh area

      Wow, that's a whole lot of scholarships, Mary. My daughter received 7 I think it was but it still doesn't cover everything. When she was home for Thanksgiving last week she told me she may be a Resident Advisor next year. That would cover her room and board, which is worth close to $4,000 per year. I mentioned this to a friend of mine I ran into yesterday. He told me he was a Resident Advisor in college but only lasted a month because in his dorm was the basketball team. His exact words were, "Talking to them was like talking to a glass of water."

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      My daughter won 18 scholarships but still left college owing 25,000 in loans. Tuition was a small part of her expenses. The scholarships didn't pay for books and housing. College is becoming unobtainable for a lot of kids.

      Good Hub with good resources listed.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      With the economy being the way it is, saving money and cutting back education costs is so important. I am glad you discuss applying for scholarships - you never know if you will get one unless you try! I vote up and useful!

    • tammyswallow profile image


      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Still awesome!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I have grandchildren in college on bright scholars, but still they have college loans. I hope some of your well researched ideas will help them cut their expenses or perhaps get a scholarship. Thank you for such a thorough hub.

    • Lady_E profile image


      7 years ago from London, UK

      Very useful, Ruchira. It's a pity to get into debt at such a young age.

      Congrats - Your Hubbers Score is 100. :-)

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United States

      Seriously Paula, I wished I had all this information when I was

      Thanks for your precious comment :)

      Hi Chitra,

      Students coming on F-1 visa also have to bear the burden of the high cost. I am glad your son managed it. You must be so proud of him :)

      Thanks Susiebrown. I am glad this was useful. Good luck!

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United States

      Thanks Terry. I am glad you liked it :)

      Thanks Nithya. Appreciate your comments.

      Thanks IntegrityYes. Pleasure!

    • Jerry Hulse profile image

      Jerry W Hulse 

      7 years ago from Kingsport, Tennessee

      My wife has us tons in debt and could have used this.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      7 years ago from California

      Great tips! The loans are so hard to pay back!!!

    • Anil and Honey profile image


      7 years ago from Kerala

      Part time jobs are a good way for overcome the loans.Now in kerala some students are doing the part time jobs.Thank you for sharing.

      with love

    • dwachira profile image

      Danson Wachira 

      7 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      During my final year in the university, i missed the government bursary, many final year students do. I had to work part time to pay for my tuition and upkeep. This is useful information Ruchira, it can benefit a lot of students and parents who would otherwise be stressed about the education fees. Voted up and useful.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 

      7 years ago from New York

      Hope young teens and parents get together and look for the best alternative. Your links are well resarched and you deserve my votes. Sharing! Great tips and seems that you really caree about future college students. Hence the world.

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United States

      Hi Frank, I wish such options were open to me as well...haha

      Thanks always for your encouraging comments...always a pleasure to see you!

    • cashmere profile image


      7 years ago from India

      Wish we had such options in India. Very informative hub.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Great ideas Ruchira, and I wish I had read this years ago! lol! I did go back to evening classes and that did cost a pretty penny too, so every little helps, great hub! voted and tweeted, cheers nell

    • tammyswallow profile image


      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Excellent tips Ruchira. For my own education I compiled a lot of debt by attending an online school. My kids were afraid of college debt after seeing my struggle. My son is a junior in college. He saved thousands of dollars by doing his first 2 years at a Technical College then trasferring to a four year college for Engineering. His scholarship didn't stretch far enough to cover a fancy apartment on campus and he didn't want the exta debt so as junior he is staying in the dorms to save about $3000 a semester. I think it is very smart. Great tips!

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 

      7 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Ruchira, you are giving great advice to college students. I paid for my own college, and it was tough finding money for books. My daughter is going to a community college, as you suggested, and it is a great way to get the prerequisites out of the way. But, her books are outrageous. I will suggest the websites you mentioned. Another good one is

      Thanks for such a needed hub! Votes and shared! :-)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      Ruchira, you have posted some valuable information for parents of college students and the students themselves. These days the loan amounts must really be considered before deciding on entering college. The stress of having to pay back those higher loans after graduation can be minimized through proper research such as this.

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United States

      Well said, Larry. I am sure your struggles in life also gave you a bright new perspective on life. Cheers!

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United States

      Wow...that's great news BlackandGoldJack. You must be so proud of your daughter :) Best wishes to her for all her future endeavors...cheers!

    • anglnwu profile image


      7 years ago

      Good advice. My son just finished freshman year and every bit of scholarship money counts. The less student loan, the better and all the ways you suggested are great for reducing this dependency. Thanks for sharing.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Excellent article Ruchira. Kids will be starting college soon here, they need good advice which you have given.. Thank you..

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 

      7 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Very well thought out and informative hub. It was many solutions in one.

    • susiebrown48 profile image


      7 years ago from Clearwater, FL

      Excellent advice and great resources. Bookmarked the page. Thank you.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      7 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very useful and informative hub, for students and their parents. To avoid loans is very important, I can say from personal experience. My son did his MBA from USA and we did not take any loan, because he earned while he learned. No doubt it was very tough for him as well as us, but at least we did not have the pressure of paying back loan amount.

      I am sure your hub will benefit many students. Thanks for sharing.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Ruchira....what great info and advice, I have only one tiny question. WHERE WERE YOU AND YOUR HUB ABOUT 24 YEARS AGO???!! lol

      Seriously....I will pass this on to my children who will be sending their precious ones off to break the bank one day!!!!! UP++

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I definitely voted up. Way to go, Ruchira!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      7 years ago from Dubai

      A very useful and informative hub. Great ideas to avoid loans and keep going. Voted up.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      7 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Great job on how to avoid costly college loans, Ruchira! Very informative and helpful! :) Voted up and more.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      7 years ago from Shelton

      Too Late! where were you when I was in college? LOL joking.. I think this is a practical guide designed for parents and students who want information on the financial process great hub Ruch as always :) Frank

    • profile image

      Larry Wall 

      7 years ago

      Very good advice. When I was in college, a long time ago, my high school grades were only average, so I did not get any academic scholarship. I got some help from vocational-rehabilitation services in my state, a couple of student loans and later student jobs, including one year of working in the dish room of the men's dining hall. I can really say I worked my way through college washing dishes. My parents helped a little, but you have to learn how to pinch pennies, nickles, dimes, etc. if money is tight. It will be a good lesson for when you graduate and have a real job. It might keep you from going into debt in the future.

    • BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

      Jack Hazen 

      7 years ago from Blitzburgh area

      Excellent article, Ruchira.

      My 18-year-old daughter is leaving for college tomorrow, and she's packing up her stuff at this very moment.

      She received six different scholarships as a result of using some of the sites you mentioned, and also because of the considerable help of her high school guidance counselor. So, no student loans for her.

      She got two textbooks off EBay, and others from some of the sites you listed. And she found them rather easily. So she's not going to the college book store and paying full price for any book.


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