The student loan crisis in America is completely out of control. With rising tuition costs and increased demand for degrees, what used to be a good financial decision is starting to look like a nightmare. Not all hope is lost, though, as there are ways to keep things somewhat affordable. Most degrees require a certain amount of debt, but playing it smart can lead to a manageable loan amount that fits your post-grad income. There are many things that get in the way of an affordable education, and these traps seem enticing. Things like name recognition, “college lifestyle” reputation, and what others will think. You will need to put those aside to achieve these goals, so keep that in mind. With that said, enjoy these tips for attaining a cheaper education.
Too many young adults fall into the “4-year or bust” trap. The prestige and reputation involved with big universities draws kids in. There is even an underlying culture that makes junior colleges feel like a failure or a compromise. As a result, many kids end up in massive debt piles that could’ve been cut in half by starting out at the community level. One can usually get a tuition of less than $2000 per year. Many even manage to go pretty much for free. Not only that, but the pacing and class size at a JC can lend itself for a lower-pressure environment with more attainable help from professors. Not only does a community college offer financial value, it can even be the way to go to ensure your academic success.
The pricing of online schooling can vary greatly. Usually, the cheapest way to go is to take online classes from your local JC or state college. This allows you more free time to make money with a good side-hustle, or even a full-time job. While the prospect of working and going to school can be daunting, the flexibility of online schooling opens a lot of doors. Whether its an 8-5 desk job, or a a part-time gig at Del Taco, the best way to synergize education and employment is online education. Not only that, but it makes it easier to save on food and transit expenses when you handle it at home.
Trade schools have been seeing a resurgence lately, as the country has a shortage of tradespeople. This has led to a rise in salary for skilled tradeworkers, and with most only requiring 2-year schooling, the financial value is enticing. Some will even forego schooling for on-the-job training, making education free. These jobs aren’t for everyone, and one has to be careful when choosing a program. Trade schools got a bad rap in the first place for being notoriously expensive, and despite a general rise in quality of trade programs, there are still a few bad apples out there. This one takes a little more careful consideration that the other routes, but can be extremely rewarding in a short amount of time.