It’s 2019, and Americans are more burdened by student loan debt than ever. Americans owe over $1.56 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 45 million borrowers. That’s about $521 billion more than the total U.S. credit card debt.
And, according to a recent study, people ages 24 to 32 are putting off major life milestones – like purchasing their first house – because of student debt.
A recent study by the Federal Reserve Board Division of Research & Statistics claims young adult home ownership fell from 45 percent to 36 percent between 2005 and 2014. Multiple factors affected the homeowner rate. However, the study claims roughly one-fifth of the decline was tied directly to student debt.
The best way to avoid student debt, of course, is to lower the cost of education.
6 Things You Can Do to Earn a Degree for Less
Start With a Plan
Unforeseen costs can threaten to derail even the most driven students. Create a plan that considers everything. Plan well, and think about how you need to spend your time and money to finish college faster and start putting your degree to work.
Check out the programs WCC offers at WCCNET.EDU/PROGRAMS
Reap Benefits of Community College
Save on tuition – most students will save at least $21,000 by taking their first two years (60 credits) of general education courses at WCC compared to the top 20 largest four-year colleges in Michigan. WCC also offers numerous programs with articulation agreements that allow students to transfer after three years, rather than two, saving students even more.
Find out how much you save by taking classes at WCC at WCCNET.EDU/SAVE
Graduate on Time
The longer you are there, the more it costs. Be one of the students who graduates on time and saves money in extra tuition. When you factor in lost time you could be earning money in the workforce, finishing on time is a no brainer.
Find out more at WCCNET.EDU/15TOFINISH
Arrive with Credits
Research what partnerships exist between your high school and community college for dual enrollment, career and technical education, and early/middle college programs. The tuition is paid by the school district and students can earn up to an associate degree or (approx. 60 credits). That’s two years of college paid for by the district.
Check out the programs WCC offers at WCCNET.EDU/DUAL-ENROLLMENT
Save on Textbooks
Books are expensive. In health care and science majors, students can spend $800 to $1,200 each semester on textbooks. At WCC, this expense is declining with open education resources, also known as OERs. The program is gaining steam, and has saved students over $2 million since it began. Where OERs don’t yet exist, students can often rent books for a fraction of the cost of purchase.
Do the easy stuff, like completing FAFSA and other aid forms on time. Talk with your school’s financial aid department. Apply for everything you quality for. Savvy students can find scholarship money. Students that secure scholarships are able to work fewer hours at their jobs so they can focus on classes and get done more quickly.
Find out more about scholarships at WCCNET.EDU/SCHOLARSHIPS