How To Pay for College Without Loans

Did you know that 7 out of 10 recently graduate students will be on debt? The worst part is the average student debt is $37,172 after graduating? (Source: CNBC)

If you are a high school student saving up for your post-secondary education, a college student wondering if you will be able to graduate from college without or little debt or a responsible parent planning for your kid’s college/university, then this article is for you.

Here, I will be sharing ways that you or your kids can do so they will not incur $37k in debt after college.

Here are some tips on how to pay for college without loans

1. The Parent’s Bank

Nothing beats The Bank of Parents. The Bank of Parents is the perfect solution to pay for college without student loans. You are blessed if your parents make a decent income to pay for your tuition or smart enough to invest in your registered education savings plan but don’t take it for granted. Make sure to thank them by finishing with good grades, get a good job, and hopefully support them financially when they are old.

Not because your parents are paying for your tuition means you do not need to think about your personal finances. Make sure you build a strong personal finance foundation in this season even if there is no need to save yet.

2. Work and Save

Let us do the math and see if it is possible to work and save to pay for your college without using a student loan.

If you get a job at McDonald’s which pay $9/hr and you know that you will owe $37,172 after you graduated from college, then you will have to work 4130 hours (37,172 divided by 9)!!

The legal working age in the United States is 14 years old. However, teens can only work 3 hrs a day/ 18 hrs a week on school days, but they are allowed to work 8 hrs a day, 40 hours a week during vacation.

There are four years high school and there are 36 schooldays weeks and there are 16 vacation weeks om a year.

The best case scenario is a high school student will be able to work 18 hrs a week on school days and 40 hours a week on vacation. That means he/she will be able to do 2592 +2560 hours 5152 hours in four years which is 1022 hrs over what he/she needed to pay school.

On average, it is safe to bet that a high school student will probably be able to work 8 hrs a week on school-days and 20 hrs a week on vacation, so he/she can make 2576 hrs (based on my personal experience). Once in university, he/she can do another 2576 hrs to complete the 4130 needed to pay off his/her college tuition/loan before graduating. Luckily, the working hours limit will be removed once a teenager hits 18, so an 18 y/o student can work more hours so he/she will have money to pay for his/her tuition plus to sustain his/her personal needs.

3. Be Your Own Boss

Don’t want to work hard for others?

Then be your own boss!

Believe it or not, even a teenager can start and run his/her own business. Actually, I believe they are better at it because they are more risk-taker and their business strategies are simple.

If you are a parent then make sure that you support your teenager’s initiative!

Some small business that a teenager can do are the following:

  1. Car detailing
  2. Gardening/Leaf Raking/Snow shoveling
  3. Baby/ pet sitting
  4. Online Buying and Selling
  5. Tutoring
  6. Freelancing
  7. Computer repair or builder / Tech Support
  8. Online business

4. Bursaries and Scholarships

Of course, the reality is if you work to save, then you lose time to study. If you are one of the smart ones and wants to maintain a good mark, then just study to get high marks. Your high marks will be your ticket to bursaries and scholarship which you will use to pay off your tuition instead of taking a loan.

If you do not know where to get bursaries and or scholarship then start asking from these following organizations:

  1. Your school; High School and University
  2. Local library
  3. Organizations that you are currently or had been part of
  4. Previous and current workplace
  5. Your church

5. Enroll in Programs with Internship

Two birds in one stone. There are more and more programs that are offering/ requiring an internship to finish the program. Not only this is good for you since you are able to build a network and gain experience, but most companies pay a decent amount of money on a full-time schedule.

Note that programs with internship usually takes longer to finish and more expensive due to extra semesters dedicated for the internship. Also, not all college and/or universities offer this program so be sure to research on those as well. The bottom line is to pursue an internship if the reward you will get is greater than the time and resources you invested.

6. Become an Affiliate Marketer


Affiliate Marketing is selling products and services on a website or social media via affiliate links.  Affiliate Marketers make money through commission. They normally get a commission of 2% to 8% of the total sale price whenever their readers click their affiliate link and buy a product or a service that they are advertising.

To learn more about affiliate marketing, please visit  How to Make Money From Affiliate Marketing or Learn Affiliate Marketing with Wealthy Affiliate.


That is it for me!

Of course, there are more ways to pay off your college without a loan. You just need to be creative and you need to be courageous to pursue your ideas!

What about you?

Did you end up taking a loan to get through college?

If you finish college without incurring debt, what did you do? 

Please feel free to share your experience down below. 

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