5 Ways to Avoid Student Loans

According to a recent study, two-thirds of undergraduate students graduate with some debt and the average student loan debt is $37,650. That’s right, you read that correctly. The average student graduates with nearly $40,000 of student loan debt.

A congo line of people on a cliff
Image credit: Real Life Debt

Does anyone else think this is a problem?

To make sure you or your children don’t spend your post-college years stressing about student loans, consider these alternatives…

1. Do Well in School

It might be too late to be telling you this, but if you do well in school, you will be much more likely to be eligible for scholarships.

2. Scholarships, Scholarships, Scholarships

You don’t have to be a Rhodes Scholar or the quarterback of your high school football team to get a scholarship. There are scholarships available for all types of students. Check out this post about the best places to find scholarships.

3. Save and Start a 529 Plan

It is far cheaper to save than to borrow and you can even save money on your taxes by starting a 529 Plan. 529 Plans are tax-advantaged savings plans that encourage people like you to save money for college.

4. Go to Community College for Two Years

There has been a 50 percent increase in students enrolling in community colleges immediately after high school. As more and more students search for affordable colleges, community colleges are improving their programs and becoming increasingly viable options.

5. Find a School Hungry for Students

There are more than 5000 colleges and universities in this country, many of which most people have never even heard of. These little known colleges often have difficulty recruiting students and are therefore more likely to offer scholarships. While I received an average education at an expensive state school, my brother chose Albion College, a small school in our home state. He was offered a scholarship without even asking for it and received a far superior education to mine.

To find small schools that match your interests, try first searching for schools near you here.

There are many other ways to avoid student loans, but whether you follow these tips or come up with your own, think twice before taking on a pile of debt. Remember, it’s cheaper to save than to borrow.

Elizabeth Kudner
Elizabeth Kudner

Co-founder of myUsearch. Disclaimer: The information presented in this post is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute professional financial or legal advice.