Student Loans? Cash-Crunched Students Get Creative to Attend College

Oct 10, 2013

With annual college costs averaging $15,605 for a four-year school, cash-crunched students are using traditional funding – grants, scholarships and student loans – for school, but they are getting creative too. One way cash-strapped kids are avoiding excessive student debt is by betting on their future success. Through companies like Pave and Upstart, students can kick start their way to college by pledging a percentage of their future earnings to investors. One 28-year-old architect from Seattle will repay 7% of his projected annual salary to investors for 10 years if he raises the $30,000 price tag he needs for school.

Related Financial Aid Options for Students

States are trying to help too. Oregon is working on a creative college financing program called “pay it forward, pay it back.” The initial proposal, which will require $9 billion of seed money, offers students interest free loans to go to state schools, in exchange for 3% of students’ annual earnings for 20 years. The state is still working out the details, but it hopes to launch a pilot program in 2015.

Other options for students include getting tuition-free college credit in high school; volunteering for nonprofits like AmeriCorps and Habitat for Humanity; starting their own companies to begin earning early; cutting costs on textbooks and living expenses; and starting out at less costly community colleges while selecting a major.

Whether you’re interested in nursing or graphic design, funding college is costly, but it doesn’t have to break the bank for students who are willing to get creative!

Please see the infographic for a full list of sources.

Student Loans? Cash-Crunched Students Get Creative to Attend College