What to Do When You Can’t Afford to Pay for College Anymore

By the 4 or 5 years you’re at college, chances are you’ll be going to school with very few of the same people that you started college with.

People drop out for a number of reasons. They might not adjust well to the college environment or they might just not have the academic abilities to take on post secondary education, but one of the most common reasons that people quit college is because they can’t afford to pay for the next semester.

young man worried about paying for college

What is your options?

Taking a Full Loan

One of the most common things people do when they’re out of money is to borrow more of it to pay for school. This is something that we do not recommend. Taking out Stafford loans isn’t that big of a deal because the amount you can borrow is relatively low and won’t take that long to pay off after you graduate, but when you start taking out large private loans at much higher interest rates, you’re then asking for trouble when you get out of college. Solving your collegiate financial problems by borrowing more money than you already are will almost certainly leave you with $30,000-$50,000 in student loan debt by the time you graduate.

Taking Time Off College

Another option is to take some time off from school and work so that you can save up money to pay for school. By doing this, you’ll likely be able to save the money that you need to, but when the time comes to actually go back to school, statistically you won’t. People who “take a semester off” are very unlikely to come back after a semester.

Borrow Money and Work Simultaneously

There’s a third option that’s a happy medium. Instead of taking a full-credit load, take a half-credit load and then work twenty hours a week. This will decrease the size of your tuition bill and significantly increase your income. You’ll still be taking classes and involved in the collegiate life, but you won’t be piling up crippling student loans in the process. It will certainly take you longer to graduate college this way, but at least you won’t come out of college with piles of debt. While you are doing classes half-time, you can look for scholarships and look for alternative ways to pay for your education so that you can tke a full-load again.