Everyone knows that a college education is expensive, but isn’t it also supposed to be priceless? Unfortunately, what was once a brief action in a lifetime to provide for a better future, has turned into a future filled with overwhelming debt.
Ten years ago, going to college was fairly affordable and many people were able to get their education while coming out with very minimal debt. These days, economic pressures have pushed young adults into a position of borrowing for their future.
Paying The Price
A recent report found that the default rates for student loans has sharply increased. The number of borrowers defaulting on their loans this last year was nearly 9%, up 2 percentage points from two years ago. Additionally, college graduates have become a large demographic source for bankruptcy filings over the last few years. With the lack of grants, economic pressure and unfruitful job market many college graduates are finding themselves paying far more than expected for their education.
Setting Up For Success
There are a few ways to help your college student get their degree without putting their financial future on the line.
Community Colleges – have become increasingly popular options for many early college students. They offer cheaper prices for the same courses college kids get at a big University. Community colleges also offer flexible schedules that allow a student to work while going to school, easing the need for a loan.
Grant Programs- offer free money for students for numerous reasons. There are grants for people of specific ethnicities, income levels, or even for specific areas of study and research. Searching for grants can be tedious but all colleges offer financial aid services that can help your college student qualify for a grant.
Half Time-enrollment can prevent the need for a loan by allowing the student to work while going to school. Working while in college can bring in enough money to cover basic living expenses and even help pay for tuition each semester. Although completing the degree may take longer, paying for college along with pay without a loan can set them up for a financially solid future.
Borrow Less- than is offered by the lender. Many student loan lenders will approve a student to borrow more than is needed. Using student loan money to pay for anything other than tuition and books, sets them up for a lifetime of debt. Remember that student loans are not lines of credit for miscellaneous expenses and should be used wisely.