Get your child through college DEBT FREE!
Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Who likes the student loan payment they pay each month? I know I didn't when I had mine. It was one of the most stressful debts that I had. I wish I would have made some changes back when I was 18 years old but I didn't know better and neither did my parents. We were all just being "normal" and thought student loans were how you went to college.
Well that isn't the case, you don't have to be "normal."
YOU CAN GO TO COLLEGE AND GRADUATE DEBT FREE!
I am all for the "freshman" experience at universities. It is a great transition stage for young adults. They still have some rules by living on campus, but also have way more freedom than living at home. If you have the money (or scholarships) for your child to go and get the freshman experience, then by all means, send them!
But that isn't the normal! Most parents do not have anything saved for college or definitely not anywhere near enough. Yet they keep telling their child that they need to go and should go to the prestigious university.
Are you willing to take out all the loans needed only in your name for them to go there?
Probably not. So then why should they have to take out student loans?
There is no magic bullet here. Colleges and/or Universities WILL cost you money. So how can we do this to where your child doesn't need to take out loans and neither do you.
1) College choice matters!
UofA/ASU costs about $11,000 for tuition alone each year (that is normally around 30 credits). The normal thing to do for UofA/ASU is to live on campus or near campus. So, if we factor all of that in, it's about $30,000 each year, for 4 years, or about $120,000. For comparison, GCU is about $17,000 for tuition alone. Don't get me wrong, I love ASU. I have my master's degree from them, but if you have no way of paying for a university, then don't!
Maricopa community colleges costs $85 for each credit. So, 30 credits is $2550. You can have a minimum wage job and can scrape together $2550 in 12 months! The normal thing for most community college students is to continue to live at home. So, more money saved! You are looking at spending maybe $10,000 for 2 years at community college for everything. You might argue that your child won't be successful if they don't go to that university. When was the last time you asked anyone where they graduated from? Did your doctor graduate from John Hopkins? Was your lawyer a Harvard Grad? If they were, is that the factor that makes them better? Not in my opinion. Most people don't care where people get their degree from, what matters is if they are good at their job, and that is independent of where they graduated from.
Out of state tuition more than doubles for UofA/ASU. So, don't even think about going out of state unless it is part of the western undergraduate exchange program and they offer 100% in state tuition rates.
Phoenix is lucky to have an AMAZING resource for scholarship opportunities! Phoenix Public Library offers free scholarship help for students of all ages! They have group classes, 1-on-1 counseling help, scholarships searches, and many other opportunities for help in paying for college.
I'm also not going to lie to you and say that you are going to get every scholarship that you apply for. You will be lucky to get about 10% of them. So, what does that mean?
YOU WILL NEED TO APPLY FOR HUNDREDS!
When should your child start applying for these? Well there are scholarships on that college depot site for k-8 students so NOW! There are scholarships for all age and education levels. A lot of students do not start until senior year in high school and stop after they graduate high school. They should be applying for scholarships from the time they can write until they have enough money to complete their highest degree wanted.
Make this your child's full-time job. Even at only 10% award rate, they will still be making around $40/hour put in. Each scholarship will take about 3-4 hours to actually complete. But well worth it when you graduate debt free and STRESS FREE.
3) Get a J-O-B!
Yup, that is right. Your child needs a job in college. I worked around 20-30 hours a week during the school year and 60 hours a week during the summer. Granted none of that money I made during my college years actually went to college.... I actually do not know where any of it went....
But that isn't the point. The point is it is possible to work and go to college. This isn't going to be making enough to pay for a university but will definitely make more than enough to pay for community college. A 20 hour a week, minimum wage, job will earn at least $6,000 a year.
A debt free degree is possible. Definitely not the normal, but possible. It just requires decisions that make a difference and a lot of work.
Until next time,