For those of you putting yourself or your child through college, there are ways to avoid or at least minimize student debt. I ran across a good article by Kelli B. Grant on CNBC that outlines 11 tips:
Obviously the first one is saving if your time frame is longer. We work with clients to build and implement a savings plan and help them stick with it.
Other good tips she references include picking a less expensive college or starting at a community college and transferring the credits to a university. Some parents put themselves in a pickle by not setting expectations when initially talking about college choices with their children. If you can’t afford a private school or one of the big time Ivy League schools without scholarships and other money, provide boundaries for your children. Tell them you will pay for an in-state college, or a community college for two years and then a university. If they want to go elsewhere, they will need to work on qualifying for academic or athletic scholarships. When kids know their boundaries, they generally will work within them so as not to be disappointed. Just don’t wait to have the discussion!
Grant also mentions students working while in college. I know some are hesitant to have their children balance school work and a job, but I know plenty of students who worked part-time and handled full course loads through parts or all of their schooling, and they still managed to have a social life! I had a partial athletic scholarship for tennis and trust me, we spent hours all year long training, practicing and playing the sport. We all found time to complete our course work and have fun.
I believe these are all good tips; some may work for you and others that may not. But I think they are worth considering!