Is College Possible Without Loans?

Angie asks how someone can go to college without a student loan in this day and age. Dave says there are several things that enter into it.

QUESTION: Angie on Twitter asks how someone can go to college without a student loan in this day and age. Dave says there are several things that enter into it.

ANSWER: The truth is that most of the way you go to school without a student loan in this day and age is you don’t even begin to ask that question.

There are several things that enter into it. Let’s just pretend student loans weren’t available and you wanted to go to college. How would you go? You’d have to be very careful about which college you went to because you’re broke and don’t have the money to go. We have to pick a college we can afford. You’re not going to an expensive school because you don’t have the money. That’s not a bad thing, by the way. You’re going to be okay. You’re going to go to an in-state school with in-state tuition, and/or some combination of a community college. Your college selection has to be done very carefully, very judiciously, very thoughtfully, very intentionally based on price. The first thing here is to get an education—not to get a pedigree. Your degree and your pedigree are worthless in the marketplace. Almost no one hires you based on the fact that you have a degree or based on the fact that you have a pedigree where you went to school. They hire you because they think you got some knowledge while you were getting that degree. The knowledge is what’s valuable in the marketplace.

Number one, where you go to school matters a lot. Number two, you study something that is actually going to be worth something when you get out. Getting a degree in the history of German basket weaving is stupid. There’s no market for that. Have a utilitarian mindset, meaning what am I going to be able to do with this degree? That’s a big deal. Degree selection has to be very carefully done. The third thing is you take the ACT and SAT tests, take classes on how to take those tests, and get your scores up. Take them multiple times. When your scores come up, you’re more valuable for scholarships and so forth. The fourth thing is scholarships. Bazillions of dollars go left unfunded because no one even asked for them. You need to spend all of your waking hours looking for scholarship money. The last one is you’ve got to work.

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