8 Ways to Avoid Student Debt

Getting out of post-secondary school with tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt is like starting the race 100 meters behind the starting line. That’s why one of my goals while I’m at university is to escape with zero student debt. While this isn’t realistic for everybody, I believe that there are a lot of things you can do to avoid student debt while you’re in school.

1. Get a Part Time Job

Get a Part Time Job to Avoid Student Debt

This is the most obvious option that most people try and do. I’m currently working between 28-32 hours per week while doing a full course-load and maintaining this blog. I know I’m lucky because the way my courses work out, but it is absolutely plausible that you should be able to work some kind of part time job. This works even if it’s just on weekends or one day a week. Make sure your resume is up to snuff if you’re applying to jobs.

2. Do Freelance Work

UpWork Logo for Freelancing to avoid student debt

This is an option many people don’t know about but can definitely help. Some months, I’ll do some freelance content writing to earn an extra 100-200 dollars. This usually can cover my groceries or part of my rent at least. I use UpWork to do this.

3. Apply For Scholarships and Bursaries

Scholarship application to help you avoid student debt

Many people don’t realize that thousands of dollars worth of scholarships and bursaries are wasted every year simply because people don’t sign up. There are hundreds of scholarships and bursaries available for almost every situation you can think of. Doing a quick Google search involving keywords related to your program and scholarship or bursary should pull up some options. You can also sign up for sites like Yconic that help filter scholarships for you. Even if you don’t think you meet the requirements, make sure you apply. You might be the only person applying and automatically get accepted!

4. Apply For Grants

Get funding to avoid student debt

I didn’t know about this neat trick until a coworker of mine told me about it. In Canada, if you apply for government student loans, you automatically get considered for government grants. This can range from 200-400 dollars of month and is free money! Keep in mind, you don’t have to take out the loans!

5. Cut Costs on Books

Don't buy at the bookstore to avoid student debt

At my university, we have several Facebook groups that allow us to organized the buying and selling of our textbooks. This is almost always cheaper than your bookstore, plus you get more money back if you sell them after the semester!

6. Cut Back on Partying

Avoid partying to avoid student debt

Partying can be expensive. Between the cost of drinks, entrance fees to events, cab rides, and all other costs, you can break the bank. Spending all of this money on partying will eat away at your savings. Savings are important, as they can help you avoid student debt. I’m not saying you should cut out partying completely, as it can be a nice break from studying. Instead, try to avoid expensive drinks and bars. Bus when you can to avoid cab fares!

7. Avoid Eating Out, Try to Cook at Home

Cook at home to avoid student debt

Eating at restaurants and fast food places costs a lot of money! If you can cook at your own home, you’ll do a really good job of avoiding student debt. This will happen because you can save a lot of money to go toward tuition or paying off any debts that you do incur. Try to shop sales and keep a grocery list!

8. Try Not to Live on Campus

Renting off campus can help you avoid student debt

Living on campus has a lot of lure. I did it my first year. The convenience of being so close to classes is a life-saver, especially when you have early morning classes. However, after my first year, I got off of campus ASAP. This is because I was spending 40% more living on campus. By getting off of campus, I’ve been able to save a ton of money to put into my investments. Again, saving all of this money will really help cut back on student debt!

Education is important. However, it can set you back in life if you incur too much student debt. All of the things in this post might seem minor. However, they will help you avoid racking up major student debt!

If you have any other nifty ways to cut down on debt, leave a comment! If you want to get started investing, sign up to our Insider’s List for a cheat sheet to help you out!

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