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Ever wondered how some people walk out of college without loans? Although it sounds impossible, there are ways to alleviate the stress of loans! There are ways to work with little effort throughout college.

These tricks and tips will help you immensely and can make the difference between a miserable and wonderful post-college experience. Worrying about loans during and after college can limit you in terms of your goals and can create a money-driven experience.

So read on for more financial freedom! Read more on the next page, number 5 is so simple you’ll wonder why you haven’t tried it already!

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9. Apply for Work Study

Most universities offer a healthy work-study program. Most of the work is offered at the school itself and is university related.

If you can see yourself picking up some hours at the library or in the parking attendance office, this route is for you. I recommend this job after exhausting all aid options and if you have a flexible schedule. The program usually pays more than minimum wage, and if you choose your job according to your career you can rack up invaluable work experience.

8. Get a Part Time Job

This is close to work study, but gets a higher ranking for the flexibility. Sometimes work study can be restricted in the scope of the job, and I truly believe in making your time work for you.

With that, I recommend choosing a part-time job that will assist you in your future career or help in making a decision for career choice. Obviously, the money is the benefit as well.

7. Live at Home

I walked out of college with no loans, and I partially attribute this to the fact that I lived at home. I don’t recommend this option for everyone, because it is definitely not the same college experience, and not available for everyone.

If you have dreams of moving away or your dream school is across the country, then take out the loans. But, if you have a comfortable home close to university – this can save you up to tens of thousands of dollars.

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6. Shop Your Acceptance

Make sure you are getting the best deal. Position universities against each other, and see who can offer the most money up front.

This depends on how well you did in high school – including GPA, sports involvement, community service – and many other factors. But if you have the resources available – have the colleges fight for you.  

5. Do Your Taxes

Did you know college was tax deductible? This can help you or your parents when filing taxes. The American Opportunity Tax Credit and The Lifetime Learning Credit are two great options that will give you kickbacks.

4. Community College

So, not all of us are touting 4.5 GPAs and volleyball championships. Colleges are becoming increasingly more difficult to get into, and many people don’t qualify for their dream college directly out of high school.

Using a junior college is one of the best options out there. Not only is it affordable, it can help you get into the school of your dreams without nearly impossible high school performance. I did this myself, and it helped me prepare for college without diving headfirst – and saved me around $20,000 in tuition.

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3. Financial Aid

Financial aid is a savior. Depending on your home income, you can qualify for thousands of dollars in discounts. Make sure to fill out FAFSA early, because aid runs out quickly.

This is not applicable to everyone – but try working part-time for at least a year and you can qualify as an independent. Getting off your parents' income will free you and allow you the maximum financial aid.

2. Grants

Grants get the number 2 spot, just because they apply to everyone. Most people with a minimum GPA and a clean record qualify and federal funding can be thanked for that.

A high school or community college counselor can help see which ones to apply for and best options.

1. Scholarships

Scholarships are the best way to pay for college. They are mostly merit-based, but most times they offer the heftiest amount.

Scholarships are available at the local, state, and national level and offered for almost any reason under the sun. Study hard in high school or junior college to reap the benefits of scholarships fully, and diversify yourself with extracurricular activities.

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