3 Ways to Attend College with Less Debt

Guidance for Parents Caring Adults and Students.

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1. The Major You Pick Matters


Picking a major is a decision that's tightly intertwined with future career paths and potential earnings. It's essential to:
 

  • Recognize that your career chosen will significantly influence educational requirements and, consequently, the cost of college.
  • Exposure to careers is key. Get to know your community but also branch out and get familiarity with all the career options available. Take the Career Quiz to get a sense of what your interests are. 
  • Consider the average salary within the selected career field.
  • Engage in continuous conversations about career choices, keeping an open mind to evolving job markets and personal growth.

 

“If we think of one’s career as a destination education is a path to get there.”

2. Colleges you Consider 


Choosing a college is a huge decision that affects your wallet.
 

  • Use the Common Black College Application (CBCA) to apply to many schools at once, which can save money. The CBCA serves as an resource to Historically Black Colleges and Universities by aiding them in the achievement of their enrollment objectives.
  • Look for colleges that are a good fit for you by using the HBCU filter.
  • Also use the new CBCA filter for a list of colleges that accepts the CBCA and more details about them including the cost.
  • Financial fit is considering how much a family can not only afford but feels comfortable spending. Don’t let this stop you from applying. You won’t know all the details until you get your financial aid package.

 

3. Financial Aid You Pursue


Tackling financial aid smartly means less debt – from grants and work-study to scholarships and savings plans.
 

  • Always be on the lookout for scholarships – Make sure to explore the BigFuture Scholarship Search Tool to discover a wide range of scholarships, including BigFuture Scholarship.
  • Don't forget to fill out your FAFSA form to see if you can get some money from the government to help pay for school.
  • Check out the Federal Work-Study Program, which can give you a job to help pay for school stuff.
  • Get ahead of the game by saving money in a 529 plan or an Education Savings Account (ESA)
  • Taking AP Exams can help you get college credits early, which can save you money later.
  • Starting at a community college can be an affordable way to get your first college credits
  • Working a summer job means you can start saving cash now for college later.
  • Check out the Federal Work-Study Program, which can give you a job to help pay for school stuff.

 

Watch Real Talk to listen in on the full discussion: