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Study in College

The decision to attend college is a big one, and though it brings a lot of new exciting experiences, it can also make a significant impact on your finances. You don’t have to pay back your loans while you’re in school, but it’s easy to rack up massive debt loads after completing your courses.

In other words, it’s crucial to strategize and minimize how much debt you accumulate while pursuing your degree — and to pay it off as soon as possible after you graduate. The good news is that there are many ways to achieve this goal! Personal Finance Opinions shares a few tactics for minimizing long-term debt in college:

Enrolling in an Online Program

Going to school online can be an effective way to minimize debt. Online programs are often less expensive than traditional on-campus programs, and they give you more flexibility and freedom.

Studying online means that you can work around your own schedule, avoid a long commute, and minimize extra expenses on transportation and food. Plus, many colleges and universities offer online programs, including highly profitable ones like a cybersecurity degree, so you can obtain the same education as your on-campus counterparts; you may consider this to save both money and time. 

Saving on Everyday Expenses  

Daily expenses significantly impact students’ debt after graduation, so saving on those costs can help you trim the amount you owe. For example, as US News & World Report notes, choosing off-campus housing near the college can be less expensive than living in an on-campus dormitory. You can also save big by using textbooks online or running them from the bookstore.

Further, many schools offer free transportation services to and from campus. But if it’s not available, you can cut back on transportation costs by carpooling or taking public transportation.

It’s surprising how quickly even small spending cuts will add up. Make changes that you won’t even feel, like swapping in safe, natural products for cleaning instead of popular brand names. This is better for your wallet and the environment!

Getting Grants and Scholarships 

Many organizations and colleges offer scholarships and grants for students based on merit or need. points out that you can look up various options available, such as scholarships for academic excellence, athletic ability, or community involvement.

Depending on your course program, you may qualify for grants to cover tuition fees and other academic expenses. Researching the available scholarships and applying early can go a long way in reducing your debt load when you graduate.

Making Money

Finally, you can minimize long-term death by getting a job or picking up a side hustle. This will help cover some of your expenses while you’re still in school and reduce your reliance on student loans. Some colleges and universities offer work-study programs, which are essentially part-time jobs with flexible hours.

Alternatively, you might look for other part-time job opportunities like tutoring, restaurant serving, or retail work. Starting a side hustle (e.g., dog walking, freelance writing, selling crafts online, etc.) can also bring in extra cash and boost financial stability. Here are a few other side hustle ideas:

  • Reselling products: Buy items at a lower price and sell them for a profit. This could be anything from vintage clothing to tech gadgets, and online platforms (e.g., eBay, Etsy, Amazon, etc.) make the process easy.
  • Starting a blog or YouTube channel: If you’re passionate about a specific topic, posting blogs or videos is a fun way to earn money. It may take time to build your audience, but you can make it a profitable venture by producing quality content consistently.
  • Photography: You could offer your photography services if you have a knack for taking fantastic photos. Whether you do it for events, portraits, or even selling to stock photo websites, you have plenty of options in this field.


It’s important to keep your long-term debt as low as possible while attending college, and you have plenty of options to do just that. Taking online courses, cutting daily expenses, getting scholarships and grants, and boosting your income are a few of the many strategies worth considering. Regardless of which avenue you choose, starting early and researching all your options will guide your steps and, ultimately, have a significant impact on your finances long after graduation.

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