Here’s an interesting subject. Everyone wants to know how they can attend college or get and education without taking out student loans. The first thing to know is this process is not easy but it can happen. Remember, you must be creative and willing to sacrifice to ensure you take on no debt.
Job Corps: The first alternative is to join the Job Corps. Many people believe this is a program for troubled kids without a path or a strategy. While Job Corps does provide advantages for the misguided, it’s also a great alternative for students in low income families. One of the goals of Job Corps is to help students become employable and independent. You must be between the ages of 16-24, meet “low income” requirements and be a US citizen. If you believe you fit in this category and would be interested in a program that provides skilled training and education, take a look into the Job Corps.
Join the Military: Joining the military is by far my favorite option. I had such a great time, traveled the world, met new friends and most importantly obtained a world-class education. The military provides troops with several different programs such as tuition assistance (which may be going away) and the Montgomery G.I. Bill. Tuition assistance provides military students with a 100% payment of all student fees and loans. You can only get tuition assistance while enlisted in the military so if you go this route, take advantage while you’re in. The GI Bill benefits you once you separate from the military. When using the GI bill, the military pays 100% of your tuition (capped by state), provides you with a monthly housing allowance (also capped by state) and money for books. If you’re willing to give up 4 years of your life, you can take full advantage of this program.
Pass the cost to your employer: The last alternative is finding an employer who pays for your college. This will be the toughest of the 3 because you probably don’t have much experience in the workforce which can make employment scare. If you’re lucky enough to land a job where employers offer tuition assistance, you may take advantage of that program. I’ve heard of programs where employers pay $5,000 per semester for school to all interested. My suggestion, starting filling out applications today!
Conclusion: There may be other options for you to research, but know that college without loans is close to impossible these days. Some may have parents who are able to pay for college cash and they should consider themselves lucky and privileged. My advice is to be diligent and open to anything. You may also decide to use a combination of all the above tactics. For example, some choose the join the National Guard where a portion of your loans are paid verses all. You may be able to find an employer who can supplement what the amount you’re getting from the National Guard. Just take your time and review all options and know, it can happen if you really want it too.