Tips on How to Graduate University Debt Free
With university tuition fees rising in most countries across the world, university graduates are increasingly finding themselves with vast sums of money to repay post-graduation loans.
Though graduating debt free may seem like a distant dream, there are several ways in which, with a little effort and dedication, you can significantly reduce or entirely eliminate your university debt by the time you graduate.
Whatever the case, do not forget that your degree should come first and that working should not compromise your ability to graduate comfortably.
1. Limit Your Spending
At university, students often feel obliged to spend unnecessary amounts on food, entertainment, books and transport. However, there are much more cost effective ways of living the student life: avoid eating out every mealtime by bringing in food from home; choose to walk or cycle instead of driving wherever possible, etc. In some countries like USA, where education is expensive and books are costly, it is pretty common to buy used textbooks instead of new ones through a classifieds website; this way, recent graduates who won’t be using those books anymore will re-gain some of the money they spent and students will find their books more affordable.
2. Earn Wherever Possible
Finding a part-time job with flexible hours is a great way of earning while you study. Bar and shop jobs normally allow you to organise your hours around your studies. What’s more, this work experience will be extremely valuable when it comes to writing your CV and applying for jobs after university, and allows you to network with potential employers before you even graduate. Remember to put aside part of your earnings in order to gradually pay-off your loan by the end of your studies.
3. Use Your Summer Wisely
Although it may be tempting to spend your vastly long university summer holidays relaxing and enjoying yourself, if you want to reduce your university debt, summer holidays provide an excellent opportunity to take up a full-time job or paid internship. In so doing, you could save a significant amount of money and gain valuable work experience at the same time.
Make sure you attend university careers fairs and make use of any careers services available in order to make the most out of your summers.
4. Research Tutoring Opportunities
If your grades are high enough, you may be able to tutor your fellow university students as part of an in-house tutoring scheme. Otherwise, why not search online for parents looking for university students to tutor their children? Generally speaking, private tutoring rates are fairly high and the work experience will look extremely good on your CV.
5. Research Bursary and Scholarship Opportunities
Universities often provide a wide range of bursaries and scholarships, although the majority of students are unaware of this fact. It is worth researching any opportunities your university offers and applying to all those that you qualify for. Needless to say the bigger the loan the more you will have to give up of your total salary when you start working as a real professional, increasing the probabilities of you having to get future loans to buy a house, a car, get married or health insurance.
University can be an expensive process, however by investing your time sensibly between flexible, term-time jobs and full-time summer work, limiting unnecessary expenses by making savings on textbooks, food and transport, and researching funding options provided by your university, you too could graduate from university debt free. Do remember though that the main purpose of attending university is to achieve an academic degree and that you should always put your studies first.
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