Debtless Degree: Keeping College Affordable

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College Debt Prep 101: Plan Before Spending

Before sending college applications:
■ Start saving specifically for college
■ Make a budget
■ Planning is crucial to graduating debt-free

For lower tuition and fees:
○ Apply for In-State Public schools
■ National average tuition costs per year
● Public In-State: $8,893
● Public Out-of-State: $22,203
● Private: $30,094

Fill out FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
■ Determines your specific financial aid savings per university
● Some universities will negotiate financial aid savings if:
○ you’re a good student with merit
○ you contact your top institution with proof of cheaper options

Scholarships and grants, apply apply apply
■ Free money you don’t have to pay back
● No Brainers: Sports and Academics scholarships

Get creative, scholarships are available for practically everything:
Left handed:
■ Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarship
Vegetarian:
■ Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship
Liking grapes:
■ American Society for Enology and Viticulture Scholarship
Being tall:
■ Tall Clubs International Student Scholarships
● Ask Universities for more scholarship info.
○ Large portions of University endowments go towards school specific scholarships.

Military Options
■ Reserve Officer Training Corps military scholarship.
● Full tuition for 4 years of college
● 4 year military obligation upon graduation, commissioned as Officers
■ The Post 911 GI Bill
● available to active duty military, reservists, and their dependents
○ Benefits based on time in service.
○ Up to 36 months for in-state tuition
○ may also cover:
■ Monthly housing allowance
■ Annual books and supplies stipend
■ One-time rural benefit payment

Don’t Forget Rent
○ National Average Dorm costs per academic year
■ In State Public: $9,498
■ Out-of-State Public: $9,498
■ Private: $10,823

○ Work as an RA in the dorms (Resident Adviser or Assistant)
■ Free room and board + small stipend
○ Live with parents for free
○ Live off-campus with Roommates

College Life
○ Get a job
■ Work part-time (20hrs / week) during classes
■ Work full-time (40hrs / week) during summers
■ Look into University jobs with perks
● Scholarships
● Free meal plans
● Free Room and Board
○ Live like a poor college student, because you are one

Books: Rent and Buy-Used online before classes start (allow for shipping time)
● Campus Bookstores are a ripoff
● Sell books back ASAP when you’re done
○ Buy-back prices drop as students flood booksellers with used books (Supply vs Demand, you’ll learn this)

Transportation – Take the Bus, You Already Paid for It
● Universities often include Transportation (bus) costs within tuition
● National average Transportation costs per academic year
○ Public in-state: $1,123
○ Public out-of-state: $1,123
○ Private: $990
● Plus cars are expensive
○ Initial cost,
○ gas,
○ insurance,
○ maintenance,
○ parking pass

Free College Events Have Free Food
● Socialize with peers for free at Club and Organization meetings
■ Fun Fact: Ramen and Transparent Beer are not things to be ashamed of
■ Don’t get a credit card – too tempting for broke college kids.
● Even “emergency only” credit cards tend to get maxed out before any real emergency happens.

After All That Budgeting

○ If a loan is still needed, Do Not Accept the full loan amount offered, take only what you need.
■ Interest is based on compound %, not a flat fee
● For example:
● 5% yearly interest on $5,000 = $250 / year
○ After 4 years compounding you owe $6,106.93
● 5% yearly interest on $20,000 = $1,000 / year
○ After 4 years compounding you owe $24,427.72
● Interest difference of $3,321
● You pay for it even if you don’t use it

Don’t be stupid about getting educated.

Debt Free

Source:

https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/average-estimated-undergraduate-budgets-2013-14