Nobody ever tells you that you will at some point have to go into debt to earn your degree. Most people think "okay no big deal"....WRONG! Please hear me out. That debt adds up! You might see the debt toll rising and you always shove it off because it is a school loan and you are not having to pay for it while you are in school.
This is the moment that you need to realize that those debts will come due. Say you owe $30,000 dollars by the time you graduate. Those payments are going to be similar to a house or vehicle payment. Now, take into account your major. What are the odds of you getting a job right out of college? The job market is not very favorable especially if you have a fancy art degree. Be prepared to go back to the fast food industry you despise so much.
Now, what are some ways that you could avoid this disaster. First, unless you have a guarantee you will have a spot waiting for you upon graduation for a job that is slim to get I would advise getting a versatile degree. This will help you ensure that you are able to go to work right after you graduate (the medical field is constantly growing).
Second, NEVER get more loans than your potential career job will pay annually. For example if your job pays roughly $60,000 a year don't go over more than $60,000 in loans. This will ensure that you will make enough to be able to afford to pay back your loans in a timely manner.
Before you apply for every high profile college within 200 miles of your hometime take into consideration the cost of that school. Most companies could care less what college name is on your resume. They are more apt to pay attention to your GPA, your degree, and experience. I promise you can learn just as much from a less expensive school than one that costs a fortune.
Do your research. Look into the school the yearly costs, how much housing is around the area if you plan on not staying on campus, and be sure you are getting the most bang for your buck. Don't choose a school strictly because your highschool crush picked it. Pick one that is right for you.
Lets be honest you are used to getting free textbooks from high school. College welcomes you by telling you that you have to get textbooks that cost roughly $150 a book with some classes requiring more than one book in a class. A tip that took me not long to learn is that there IS a way to get them cheaper.
Most professors every year tell you that you need the latest edition that just came out and to buy it from your local college bookstore (don't listen to them). Once again, do some research! You can look to see how textbook editions vary from year to year. Many, are almost EXACTLY the same. So, with this knowledge you can go to amazon and buy a USED book for usually under $50 sometimes, as cheap as a few dollars. I personally have done this numerous times and have never had an issue. The end results in you saving 100's of dollars and helps keep your loan amounts down to the minimum.
Drop your college tips in the comments below. There is no reason that students should go through college and come out thousands upon thousands in debt.