If you’re the parent of a high school junior or senior, preparing your child for higher education is likely on your mind. However, the financial burden is what gives many people pause. College can cost tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars. While student loans might seem like a good option for those families who can’t pay out of pocket for their child’s dream school, they can be extremely hard to pay back.
Here are some tips for covering college costs without student loans.
The Problem with Student Loans
You might see student loans as being a good way to finance your child’s schooling, but they can put a serious damper on their financial freedom in the future. College costs have been rising, and students have been taking out student loans because they can’t afford their education otherwise. Then, when they graduate or leave school, they have to pay them back, often at extraordinary monthly rates. Under normal circumstances, student loans are not bankruptable. Plus, if your child doesn’t pay a loan back, it can end up ruining your child’s credit and put their chances of being approved for an apartment, vehicle, or any other loan in serious trouble.
Go to an In-State School
When applying for schools, it’s good to encourage your child to look at in-state schools. Because tax money from a state’s populace helps to pay for these schools, they’re given more of a financial advantage. If you combine this with scholarships, you or your child can end up paying a far more reduced rate for college than you would if your child went to school out of state.
Look for Scholarships
Encouraging your child to apply for a scholarship should be your biggest priority if they’re trying to get into a school they wouldn’t be able to afford without student loans. You need to make sure that they have all the credentials you need to qualify, such as a high GPA and exam scores. You should also encourage them to apply for as many scholarships as they can. The most desirable are full-ride scholarships, as they pay for all college expenses and can save the most money.
Transfer From a Two-Year School
Your child can get a four-year degree from a school even if they don’t spend all four years of their college career there. With a degree from a two-year school, like a community college, your child can easily transfer to a four-year school. Since two-year schools are much more affordable, the costs can be greatly decreased. Credits can easily transfer to many four-year schools and save a significant amount of money.
Student loans can end up being your child’s most lasting memory of college because these loans can be a burden for years. It might be tempting for your child to take them out and worry about paying them back later, but it’s far better to avoid them entirely. There are other ways to encourage your child to pay for college, and they’re often much more affordable.