Avoiding student debt: what to do for no regrets

Scholarships are one of the most effective ways to avoid student debt.

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Scholarships are one of the most effective ways to avoid student debt.

Zara Khan, North Editor-in-Chief

As I frantically look up  the yearly tuition for the college of my dreams, a little piece of me dies inside. According to data found by Huffington Post, college tuition and fees have increased 1,120 percent since 1978. As tuition costs continue to rise, the national student debt hits $1 trillion. The best way to avoid crippling student debt and loans would be to apply for as many scholarships as possible.

The common misconception associated with scholarships are that they are only reserved for those who have both  high GPAs (grade point average) and standardized test scores. However this is not always the case, not only are scholarships merit based but they are also talent-based,luck-based, athletic-based and some without any restrictions or requirements.

Raise.me is the perfect reward program for academic achievers or students who involve themselves in extracurricular activities, as it is an organization partnering with over 225 colleges to provide students with micro-scholarships for every A or B they get, the number of AP classes they take, ACT/SAT scores, community service, work experience and many other things.

Besides these micro-scholarships, other helpful scholarship websites include Unigo, Scholarships.com, Fastweb etc. All of which include numerous types of scholarships ranging from interesting essay topics to choose from making almost everyone eligible to apply for scholarships.

Students are discouraged from applying to scholarships usually because writing  (good) essays can get tedious or because some scholarships require going the extra mile to get transcripts and recommendation letters from a teacher or counselor.

Every penny counts when it comes to scholarships whether they range $500 to $50,000, considering the average college textbook costs $300 based on  U.S News  findings from The National Association of Colleges Stores (NACS).

Scholarships are a great way to raise money for college and keep up with increasing tuition costs. They are also a better alternative to getting ten jobs or selling a kidney allowing students to stay  focused on the education aspect of college rather than the financial part.


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