ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Go to College and Still Graduate Debt Free

Updated on November 22, 2011

Avoiding The College Debt Trap

For many college students, including myself, going to school can be an expensive debt trap. It's a lot of work but it IS possible to go to college or grad school and still be debt free!

You will have to be diligent to keep the financial system at bay, since they encourage and expect students to take on debt to complete their education.

All of the university people are there waiting to jump on you, they call it "financial aid".

  • According to the College Board, 54% of the $105 billion in financial aid distributed in 2002-2003 school year was for loans. During this same time, the average cost for tuition was $19,710 at a private university and $4,694 at a local university. Earning a four-year degree would cost $60,064 more at a private college.
  • According to Sallie Mae, Students who used credit cards to pay for part of their education reported an average credit card balance of $3,400 at the time they left school, compared to the average balance of $1,600 for those who used credit cards for emergencies only.

One major way to cut college costs is to attend a community college for the first 2 years. Housing and food will be cheaper since you are close to home, and you can get a part time job with some friends or family businesses.

Plus this gives you plenty of time to finalize what you want to major in, and what your career path will be. Why would you want to spend around $20,000 just to figure that out.

These days, most people assume you need to pay a massive amount of money for a quality college education.

As a result, students and their parents are willing to go into years of debt and potentially sabotage their entire financial futures just to get a fancy name on their diploma.


Grants and Scholarships

Take advantage of scholarships and grants! They start around $200 and go up, every little bit helps. Unlike student loans, grants as well as scholarships do not have to be repaid.

Pell Grant: Awarded to undergraduate students from lower-income families.

Academic Competitiveness Grant: Awarded to undergrad beginner as well as sophomore students demonstrating tutorial excellence.

Merit-Based Scholarships: Awarded to students who denote academic, or inventive talent.

  1. Student loans are NOT a necessary evil. Middle class families can find ways to avoid them, even without scholarships.
  2. College "rankings" are useless-designed to sell magazines and generate hype. If you trust one of the major guides when picking a college, you face a potential financial disaster.
  3. The elite graduate programs accept lots of people with non-elite bachelors degrees. So do America's most selective employers. The name on a diploma ultimately won't help you have a more successful career or earn more money.

This is an investment into your future, if you have to work part time while going to school it's WORTH IT! Only a few years of hard work, will dramatically pay off in your future. This is the time where you are becoming an adult and taking on a lot more responsibility for your own life. START OUT RIGHT, and be smart!

Debt-Free U(niversity): How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off My Parents

Scholarship Handbook 2011

Getting Financial Aid

Remember you can always get roommates, buy used books, and eat meals at home.

There are many ways to cut corners and save money while investing in your education.

Focus on learning and not on living extravagantly, and you can be debt free after college!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      This is information I am going to pass on to my students. I agree that costs will be lower by attending a community college the first years. Good hub!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)