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Here's the US News article showing the increase in total student debt for graduates over the past 10 years. What's even worse is those numbers don't reflect the 40% of students that never finish their degree. I'm sure the total number would be even worse.

If you or someone you know is considering college here are 5 tips you can use to set yourself up (at least financially) before you go to school. If you don't feel like reading, here is a video I made explaining the steps

  1. Understand your financial position, are you getting any help for school or are you on your own? Regardless, knowing where you are helps you move forward to achieving your goals

  2. Apply for as many scholarships as you can. There are the more common scholarships for getting good grades, scoring high on the SAT/ACT, and for athletes. But some of the less commonly known scholarships are given for left-handed people, if you speak multiple languages, are of minority descent, etc...

  3. Truly understand what you are going to school for before committing to a major. No need to waste time and money on classes that aren't' helping you ultimately graduate.

  4. Figure out how much money you need to save up for what scholarships don't cover. A quick exercise I ran for attending an in-state school assuming you were able to cover 60% of tuition with scholarships would mean you need roughly $4,000 as a lump sum before starting day one of college

  5. Apply for even more scholarships, think of it as a full time job.

Best Wishes,

A Penny Pincher's Guide

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