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10 Ways to Avoid Excessive Student Loan Debt
Learn what every dental student needs to know about consolidation.

by Brooke Heath
 
Regardless of where you are in your college timeline, still in high school, just beginning, an upper classmen, getting ready to graduate, or a recent grad, no one hopes to graduate with the burden of thousands of dollars of student loan debt on their shoulders. To help you to avoid this fate, EdFed has made a list of was to help you save money.



While Still in High School…

#1 - Take as Many AP Classes/Concurrent Enrollment as Possible!
These classes help to save money as well as time once you are in college. AP or Advanced Placement classes test at the end of the course. Each test that you pass, you will earn a certain amount of credits towards college. For example, if you earn the equivalent of 3 credits on your test that is one less 3-credit general education class that you will need to take, not to mention one less class to pay for! The same goes for Concurrent Enrollment classes, but they do not require you to take a test, all you have to do is pass the class. The big advantage about AP classes is that if you score really high on the test, you can earn credits for the equivalent of several classes in college!

When Choosing Schools…

#2 - Go to a School that Wants You to Attend!
The possibility that you will be offered a more attractive financial aid package will increase if you go to a school that is trying to recruit you, rather than attending one that you are fighting to get into.

#3 - Go to a Less Expensive School!
Lower costs do not always mean lower quality when it comes to schools! To save some dough, go to a junior college or community college for your first two years, and then transfer to a university. Not only will the costs be lower, but you will also have smaller classes than at a university and this can help you have a better learning experience. Or, if you are getting ready to go to graduate school, consider going to a top-ranked public university rather than a private school.

#4 - Establish Residency Out-of-State
If you are determined to attend an out-of-state school, consider living in that state for a year and establishing residency before attending the school. Because out-of-state tuition can be more than double what it would cost to attend school in a state that you are a residency in, it may be worth the wait.

While Attending College (or Getting Ready to)…

#5 - Look for Scholarships!
Scholarships are free money for school, need I say more? The most common misperception about scholarships is that they are only for students who excel in the classroom. While there are many that are based on academic merit, there are many based on other achievements and need. The main thing to remember is to apply for as many as possible. For a list of scholarship programs, visit EdFed's scholarship search page at: http://www.edfed.com/planning-college/scholarship-search.php.

#6 - Apply for Grants!
Like scholarships, grants are also free money, in that they never need to be repaid. To apply for a grant, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form will determine your eligibility for a grant, as they are only awarded to students who can demonstrate that they have financial need.

#7 - Make Money for School Through Work-Study!
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program gives you an opportunity to work on-campus or off-campus in the community while you are going to school. Working at these jobs will give you an opportunity to earn money to help to pay for your schooling costs. Because you will be earning the money, it does not need to be repaid. To apply for work-study, you must complete the FAFSA.

If You Need to Take Out Student Loans…

#8 - Borrow Minimum Amount Necessary!
The thing that a lot of students do not realize is that student loans are NOT free money! They do eventually need to be repaid, and with interest! To avoid unnecessary student loan debt, only borrow the minimum necessary.

#9 - Consolidate you Student Loans!
A terrific way to save a lot of money off of your student loans is to consolidate them. Consolidating your loans will leave you with just one loan with one, low monthly payment. When you consolidate your outstanding student loans with EdFed, you can literally save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan!

#10 - Look into Forgiveness Programs
Offered by the federal government, state government, military and other organizations and agencies, forgiveness programs also known as repayment programs, are offered throughout the country. In exchange for a commitment to work in a field or area pre-determined by the organization, they will compensate all or part of your student loans. These programs are only offered to specific fields of study, so you may want to look into them, prior to choosing your major.

This list is just a few examples of how you can save money and avoid excessive student loan debt. It is not exhaustive. For more ideas, meet with your school's financial aid counselor or guidance counselor.




 


Article Title : 10 Ways to Avoid Excessive Student Loan Debt
Comments :
I sure wish I had this advice before I decided to go to an expensive private col
lege and take out every student loan I could get in order to attend! I owe $66,0
00 dollars in student loan debt and have been unable to make a dent in the 12 ye
ars I've been out of school. In addition I'm dealing with a medical illness keep
ing from working indefinately in my specialized field. This excessive student lo
an debt I have is like a nightmare that won't go away because of all the restric
tions the government has put on student loans. If anybody has advice for a beate
n up person like me I sure would appreciate it. Looking for some hope and help i
n a country that seems to not have much if any of that anymore. Thanks!

Posted By : Charles Warner

 
Comment


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Education is one of the most basic right of any human, but with the increase in prices and the costs involved in education this has made these rights turn into a privilege which very few can enjoy. Any normal person today in the whole of United States has to take an education loan at one point of time to pay for their education fees.

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(September 20, 2007)

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