Personal Finance FAQ: 9 Questions Every Student Should Ask 2

Personal Finance FAQ: 9 Questions Every Student Should Ask

Welcome! I created this FAQ page to give a summary of what this portion of Money Tree Network is about!

I am not a financial expert, just a person who is looking to make money a less scary topic.

How much debt does the Average college Student go Into?

Credit.com says that the average student graduates college with $31,172 of student loans. It typically takes students 10 to 30 years to pay off this debt. There is a total of $1.52 trillion worth of student debt out there, so you are not alone in your debt!

It is very possible if you do your research, work, and take student loans off the table. I created this FAQ page to explain how to go to college without debt.

The average college graduate makes $50,390 according to thebalance.com. What could you do with that money if you weren’t making student loan payments? Travel? Invest? Buy a home? Leave your ideas of what you could do if you went to college without student loans in the comments below!

College Campus Building

Is It Possible to Pay for College Without Student Loans?

Yes! It is very possible to go to college without loans! You can apply for scholarships and grants, work, or participate in a work-study program. You could also look at community college, trade schools, or state schools as opposed to private schools.  

There are $49.3 billion worth of scholarships on the web according to debt.org. These scholarships are for low income families looking to go to college, athletes, high performing students, minorities, and many other groups of people looking to go to college debt free.  Check out the best places to look for scholarships below. 

The government offers Pell Grants for low income families who want to send their kids to college without taking out loans. Pell grants are usually for families who make $30,000 or less per year. Why not take a chance and apply?

Another option to go to college without taking out student loans is working! You can work for a company such as Starbucks that offers to pay for school for you, or you can just work making $10-$12 per hour. If you choose a state school that is affordable, then it is very doable! Check out the “How Can I Make Money In College” section below!

Lastly, you can go to a community college for a couple years and then transfer to a 4 year school! Community college is typically much cheaper than a typical 4 year school and is therefore a great option to get through college without student loans.

If you go to a community college and knock out your general education classes, then these credits usually transfer straight to the 4 year school. Just make sure they transfer to the school of your choice before you take the classes!  

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How Can I Make Money In College

If you are asking how to make money while in college but still want to do well in school, then you came to the right place. There are a lot of different ways to make money while in college that have flexible hours and allow you to complete your school work.  

If you have a car, you can sign up for DoorDash or PostMates to deliver food. You can work for a local pizza place and deliver pizza. Alternatively, you could do odd jobs in the area.

Find someone in a nearby neighborhood that needs help with yardwork or cleaning their house.  You could also sign up for Rover or Wag and walk some dogs! 

If you don’t have a car, then jump online. Apps such as Fiverr will allow you to do remote jobs. All you need is Wi-Fi and you will be able to get marketing jobs, bookkeeping jobs, design jobs, etc.

If you are studying business, this could also be a great resume builder. There are many other apps out there that allow you to be a remote secretary or virtual accountant for somebody.  

Lastly, you could get a campus job! I worked at the on-campus credit union, where I learned about money, credit cards, and student loans.  You could serve food, work at the library or fitness center, or become a secretary for a department.

Do you have other ideas of ways to make money in college? Leave your comments below!

Where Are the Best Places to Look for Scholarships?

There are many websites that you can search for scholarships. This includes Niche.com, fastweb, collegeboard, and many others. These websites include filters that you can use to make the search easy! If you are coming from a low income family, great athlete, great scholar, part of a minority, or any other group that is looking to be debt free you will be eligible.  

Another great place to check for scholarships is your school’s financial aid office. They typically have great scholarships that you have a better chance of getting, since it is a narrower pool of people applying. Your financial aid office can help you find different scholarships that you qualify for. They should be the first stop on your debt free college journey.

Where Can I Find Grants?

You can check out grant.gov where they list all the different grants that are available from the government. As long as you keep up with the terms of the grant, you will never have to repay these! This is one of the best ways to go through college debt free! 

Most grants are awarded to students with a financial need. While it is possible to find other grants, they are mostly kept for low income families who are looking to send their children to college without accruing debt.

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Can I Graduate Debt Free By Investing?

I think the answer here is yes and no.  You can graduate from college debt free by investing in YOU! College is an investment, and the goal is to get a great return on investment. If you study at an affordable school, and you study a field that you can actually get a job in, you will have a good return on investment (ROI). 

Look at fields such as business, science, technology, engineering, and math if you want to get a great return on investment. This is certainly not the whole list of fields that will get you a great ROI, and you want to make sure you are passionate about the career you choose as well.

Is It Better to Go to College Debt Free or Go to My Dream School?

Your decision at age 17 can affect you for the rest of your life. Make sure to really think about the school you want to go to and how you are going to pay for it.

Now take debt off the table!  Are you still able to go? Are you willing to work twice as hard to be able to go there? If the answer to this question is “Yes” then as long as you are not taking out debt do it! Apply for scholarships, grants, and work your butt off, so you don’t have to take out loans. See FAQ below about the consequences of loans.

If the answer is “no” then you have a few options. 1. Consider a couple years of community college and then transfer to your dream school! You will save A LOT of money by doing this.  You will still have to work during your time in school, but it will be much easier. If this still doesn’t sound right, then find a reasonably priced state school.

Often times, these schools offer the same level of education as a private school but costs almost half as much! 

Should I Go to a Trade School?

There is a stigma around going to trade school and I am honestly not sure why. Trade schools are another great option to help you graduate from college debt free. The National Center for Education Statistics says that the average cost of college (private and public schools) is $23,091. This is compared to $9,516 for a trade school!  

Trade schools are a great alternative to regular college. They are usually cheaper than a 4 year college, and you still get a great education! They offer many programs such as HVAC, marketing, culinary, automotive, and many other ones! 

What are the Consequences of Student Loans?

The student loan crisis is real in America! With over $1.5 trillion in student loans, Americans are not able to afford to buy a house, go on vacation, or do anything fun.  Americans are defaulting on student loans now more than ever before. We need to shut down the federal student loan program to help improve the American economy.

To Sum It Up…

If you say “I am not going to take out student loans to go to college”, then you will find a way to achieve your dreams! Check out scholarships, grants, community college, and your financial aid office to find the best way to pay for your college degree.  

Remember: The average student graduates with over $30,000 worth of student debt. Are you going to be part of that statistic?