I will be the first to admit that college is expensive. But, depending on what you are majoring in, you do have options to attend a lower cost institution. When I went to college back in 2005, I was limited on what I could do because I had two small children at home. I needed online learning, and ended up getting so far into debt with student loans that I might never dig out.

Why scholarships?

Now that my oldest son is seeking education, I have had the talk with him about not using student loans. This was something that was very important to me. I can’t tell him what to do, since he is an adult, but I very vehemently told him that I oppose student loans. Thankfully, he considered the information I laid out, and opted to do a cash option. He is attending a distance learning program for mechanics, which allows him to make monthly payments. The total cost of this program is under $1,000, so he won’t end up with student loans of any kind. 

Now, had he attended a regular college, such as community college or similar institution, he would have applied for a scholarship. Scholarships are an amazing thing! They can help you achieve the education you are seeking, at less out of pocket cost to you. There are many scholarships out there, and a ton of websites that you can search for them on. There is a plethora of grants and scholarships out there, including the Frank O’Bannon Grant, or the Nancy Etz scholarship. The key is searching for them. There are so many out there, and the rules for each are different.


Some require an essay, while others might require you to have a disability, or any number of things. Do you have a unique talent? Most likely, there is a scholarship out there that you can apply for based on that unique talent. If you have ever been a foster child, there are scholarships out there for you. 

Looking into grants, scholarships and paying cash is going to be the best way. Student loans are going to collect interest and you will spend, what seems like, the rest of your life paying them off. Private student loans are the worst, because they generally don’t have any programs to help you keep on track like the federal ones do. But, if you can avoid them altogether, and just opt for scholarships and paying cash, that would be best.

Not every profession needs a high dollar education. Take my son, for instance. He is studying to become an auto mechanic. He is doing so through a distance learning program that goes at his own pace, and that he can make monthly payments to. He already has an internship lined up with a local shop, so that he’s getting hands-on experience. The program he chose also covers his certification exam fees and everything. So, it’s very possible to get an education without going thousands of dollars into debt. I definitely recommend looking into scholarships to help you save money!


"Time spent with cats is never wasted." ~ Sigmund Freud