- Live at home with parents as long as possible. This might mean you help around the house and contribute to household expenses.
- Apply for financial aid. This goes without saying. Even if you don't think you qualify, submit your FAFSA and indicate "Work Study" if you are interested in a part-time job on campus. Renew your FAFSA every year.
- Apply for scholarships. Check out the scholarship page on this blog. Also check the San Diego City College scholarship site for resources.
- Take as many courses as possible at the community college before transfer. Work with a counselor on this.
- Set a budget and stick to it.
- Cut unnecessary expenses. By this, I mean buy only what you need, not what you want.
- Author Dave Ramsey says it's imperative to set up an emergency fund of $1000 asap. Whatever your budget can afford, start putting a set amount away each month until you reach $1000. How? Sell stuff you don't need. Work an extra job during school breaks. Take in a roommate to cut the rent. Having an emergency fund will save you a ton of stress when emergencies happen. It will also empower you by showing you it's possible to save.
- Once you establish your emergency fund, then continue saving the same monthly amount or more if possible. Put it in a savings account toward your future college expenses.
Okay, female students, the article below is about you. But don't fret. Do the above instead. College Debt Weighs More Heavily on Women Than On Men appeared on MSN Money.