How can you limit your student debt?

With the new school year quickly approaching, many college students are probably sorting out there financial aid. In the past decade or so, debt has become a major problem for graduating seniors, so it would be wise to seek out ways to limit the amount that is taken on to pay for school. 

No. 1 – Go to a school that fits in the budget

When budgeting for college, students and parents likely sit down with each other and determine how much money they will be able to commit a year. Once that figure has been determined, it would be a good idea to pick a school that is around that amount, so student loan balances aren't outrageous. For some people, it will be difficult to find a university that is close to what their family can contribute, but there are other ways to limit student debt. 

No. 2- Don't go to a traditional four year school

Normally, students go to four year institutions to get a degree, but this isn't the only way to get a college education. In fact, starting at a community college for the first couple of years before transferring to a larger university to finish a degree can save students a lot of money. Additionally, taking Advanced Placement classes in high school that award college credit can potentially help reduce a student's stay to three years – another good way to save. 

No. 3 – Consider the average starting salary for your major

While it will be difficult for people to predict what their future earnings will be, there is data available that shows the starting salary for most college majors. This information should be taken into consideration when choosing a school, as taking on a lot of debt with a major that doesn't pay much right out of school can lead to financial troubles.

No. 4 – Take advantage of money you don't have to repay

Student loans are one route to pay for college, but there is money available that doesn't need to be paid back. For example, many schools offer grants that can be deducted from the fee bill each semester. Another good source of money is scholarships, as there are numerous types available. According to Scholarships.com, the Tall Club International offers funds to male students 6'2" and taller and females 5'10" and up. 

April Lewis-Parks has more than 15 years of experience in the financial sector, she is a certified financial counselor, and a consumer affairs advocate. As the director of education and public relations for Consolidated Credit she is dedicated to generating awareness about personal finance issues and acts as their consumer affairs advocate. As host the of MissMoneyBee.com, she promotes financial education and offers timely and informative personal finance articles to educate the public. April’s promotional efforts can be seen in past issues of the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsday, Consumer Reports, the Business Journals, Money Magazine, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Family Circle, among others. Connect with April on Google+

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