Saving Money on College FeesDoes an education have to be a debt sentence? Are college tuition and fees supposed to put you into debt for a long time? I really don’t think so. Too often do you hear college graduates complaining about how they’re in debt by over $50,000. This doesn’t have to happen. You don’t need to lose your pants just to earn a college degree.

We all know that the average university tuition and cost can set you back a lot. What many of us don’t know is that you can go to college without going completely broke. That’s what were here to discuss today.

How you can get a college degree without massive amounts of debt?

Apply to the best schools.

You must remember that investing in your career is investing in your wealth. This is why you need to apply to the best schools. You want to earn a degree from a prestigious school, not a school with a poor reputation. Another not-so common fact is that the best schools usually offer the most financial assistance. The tricky part is getting accepted into the program of your choice. Once you’re accepted you can start applying for all sorts of scholarships and financial assistance. You shouldn’t let money hold you back from the education that you deserve. Don’t be afraid to apply to best schools that you can think of.

Apply for free money.

There are so many sources of free money available to all college students. You may have to write a quick essay for most scholarships. You can quickly apply for bursaries and grants. You can also apply for specific awards. Every college/department/program offers awards. These awards can go up to a couple of hundred dollars.

The amazing thing about these sources of free money is that very few people. I remember applying for a bursary and totally forgetting about it. A few months later I got a check in the mail. Not bad for filling out a form. You can spend a boring afternoon/hungover Saturday writing a few essays that could land you thousands of dollars in scholarship money. Not a bad deal for writing something.

Hold a part-time job always.

I can’t stress the importance of holding down a job in college. I really don’t get it when college students tell me that they have no time to work. I partied every weekend and I still managed to work full time hours. It’s not that tough. You might lose some sleep here and there but you won’t have to rely on student loans to fund your whole college experience. Plus, work is a great way to meet new people. I’ve met so many friends (and ex-girlfriends) from my part-time jobs in college. What are you waiting for?

Work in your down time.

Your summer break/holiday time off is the best time to make some money. You essentially have nothing else to do during this time. Why not work a job to save up some cash? Not only will you save money, but you can also build lifelong connections in the process. Sounds like a win-win to me. Working when you’re full of energy in your early 20s beats being stuck in debt when you hit 30 and want to raise a family.

Keep on applying for free money.

Applying for free money isn’t just a one time thing. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get any funding on your first try. Keep on applying. Apply every semester. Apply for every source of financial assistance that’s possible. You never know when that essay you write really hits it big and gets you that mega scholarship. Keep on applying for free money even when you don’t feel like it.

That’s how you can get your degree in your hand without going poor. Don’t believe all those myths about how college needs to be financed through loans. That’s not true.

For the college student/college graduates: what was the best way that you saved money in college? What can you share with us?

Check out the rest from the series:

How to Save Money on Your Grocery Bill & Lose That Belly.
Fill Up Your Pad With Cheap Furniture.
Communicate With The World Without Going Poor.

(photo credit: phoosh)