"How much are we talking?" I asked.
Gulp. I didn't know what to say. As we chatted, I realized that his student loan payment was bigger than my mortgage payment.
Make the Choice to go to College Debt-Free
Our decision to not borrow money for education is based on the Bible which calls debt foolishness. If God considers debt foolish, then we do too. We are convinced that if God wants us to do something, he will provide the money for it. We place a large responsibility to pay for tuition on the student, though we do help out.
Start Own Business
My third daughter gives voice lessons to earn money for college. My teenage son has started a lawn business to save money for college. Starting a business is a great way for young people to earn money for college. Brian was always being asked to fix computers, so he started a computer business, focusing on college students who desperately needed their computers in working order.
High school students in public, private, or home schools can dual-enroll. A student can take these college credit classes during the junior and senior year to earn high school and college credit at the same time. AP classes in high school can also provide college credit.
Slower Pace to Work
College education can be slowed down so that the student can work. My friend, Sarah, worked as a hair stylist while she got her bachelor's degree. IT took her 7 years instead of 4 to do this, but she is debt-free!
Work During School/Summer Job
Zack got a job with U.P.S., a company that was happy to work with his school schedule. Best of all, after he was promoted to management, he was able to get reimbursed for his tuition.
Community College/State College
Community colleges and state universities are almost always cheaper than private universities. Often there are merit scholarships based on S.A.T. scores and grades that cover the entire cost of tuition to these state institution. In our state, we have lottery-funded Bright Futures scholarships. All kinds of financial need grants are available at the state and local level which are based on parent's income level.
Investigate every possible avenue for scholarships. Here are some websites to search for scholarships.
Parents Save: Savings, Education IRA
It is not popular in our culture to save money, but it is the wisest way to live. Saving money little by little can add up to a large amount of money. Begin saving for college as soon as your babies are born. Put tax refunds and other windfalls away in a your college savings account. Education IRAs are an option for parents to save money, making the money you put aside tax-free.
Student Saves: Birthday, Job, Babysitting
The college student, or future college student, needs to take ownership of acquiring money and should take every opportunity to save money for tuition. The same principle of saving little by little applies to the student too.
You and your family can go to college debt-free. God will provide, but realize that His perfect plan is to provide through hard work and self-control.
Enjoy the Freedom of Debt-Free College!
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)