How Your Child Can Attend College Debt-Free

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It's no secret that college tuition costs are on the rise, and this has parents wondering how they can afford to send their kids to college. The good news is that your child doesn't have to take out student loans in order to afford college. One thing you and your child can do is apply for scholarships as early as his junior year in high school. Find out what the application requirements are and then follow them carefully. Emphasize the importance of getting good grades, because this often determines whether your child receives a scholarship or not. Here are more ways to send your child to college debt-free.

Open a 529 College Savings Plan

As soon as your child is born, you should open a 529 college savings plan for them. There are two types of this plan. The traditional version allows you to invest contributions in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds. The other version lets you prepay tuition costs for a public or private university. Every state has at least one or more 529 college savings plans available for you to choose from, and you can even choose a plan from another state. The good thing about 529 savings plans is that your contributions, the earnings on those contributions, and withdrawals are tax-free. The expenses that you can use the account for include tuition, room and board, and educational materials.

Consider a Community College or Trade School

A growing number of careers don't require a four-year degree, and if your child plans to enter one of these careers after high school, then consider community college or trade school. The cost of community college is less than a four-year university, and if he qualifies for grants and scholarships, then could attend school debt-free. And because he can complete his studies sooner, this means he can enter the workforce quickly and start building wealth earlier.

Open a Custodial Brokerage Account

If you want to save up for college but you still want to leave him money in the event he chooses a different path, then you can open a custodial brokerage account for him. Visit an online brokerage provider such as Vanguard or Fidelity. Then enter in your child's personal information. From there, you will make an initial deposit then buy stocks and bonds with this deposit. The returns on those investments can help him attend college without needing student loans.

Work While You're in School to Become Debt-Free

Another option would be to work while you're in school. Consider a side hustle that is related to what you're studying. If your major is graphic design, why not seek out potential clients in your classes or around campus who need to have their websites designed? If you're skilled in WordPress, Photoshop, and other computer design software, use this as your selling point. Create a website where you show off design projects you have completed so far. Then print out some of them to make a physical portfolio to show to potential clients.

Live With Your Parents

To save money on room and board while you're in college, live with your parents. Make sure that you contribute to the household through chores and with any income you earn. Stay focused on your studies and use this time to save up money for getting your own apartment after graduation. By doing this, you show your parents that you are mature and responsible.

Send Your Child to College Debt-Free

College doesn't have to be a financial burden on you and your child. With these strategies and a positive attitude, it is possible for your child to attend college debt-free. Your child will be able to focus more on his studies and his future career.

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