5 Ways to Go to College…. Without Using Student Loans (Yes, I’m Serious)

By Nick Wagoner, President of Up Academy Tulsa, Senior Life Skills Director for Launch Academy Tutoring Company in Tulsa, Founder of Wagoner & Friends Foundation, and Project Manager for charity events in the Tulsa area.


It’s one small step for students….. One giant leap for success.

Oh yes folks, you can graduate college debt free! And I’ve got five Launch Academy approved ideas to make it happen. So let’s move sweet little Sally Mae to the side and get to work!


Yes, I know college costs a lot. But there are numerous ways to to pay for school without graduating with the national average of $24,301 of students loan debt. That’s a down payment on a house! (http://www.asa.org/policy/resources/stats/)


No, my 5 steps won’t have you selling your kidney to your roommate or putting together an underground cheating network doing your classmates homework.


#1. Degree-Specific Aid:

Most colleges do not openly publish specific colleges for certain degrees, i.e. School of Business or School of Nursing. If you have an idea of what you are wanting to major in, go ahead and call the financial aid office, the school’s website, or personally visit with the dean of your program to see what’s available. The responsibility is on you to seek this stuff out. So get out a list of your top picks for college and start contacting them for financial aid that you may be eligible for. This could save you literally thousands of those wonderful Benjamin’s you are so fond of.


#2. Federal Aid:

As a student, this will by far, be the biggest amount of financial aid will come from. Unfortunately, this federal aid is mostly based on financial need. So if your family’s income level is about the maximum income for eligibility, don’t give up, there are other places that can help you out! (FASFA.gov)


#3. State Aid:

For all you Juniors and Seniors, this is huge for you. This aid is based on the combination of your financial need and your classroom achievements. So, today and until you head off to college, you should work on your ACT/SAT scores, your GPA, and extracurricular achievements to increase your eligibility for scholarships! Give it your all and get going! (Get your test scores up at LaunchAcademyTulsa.com)


4. Military Service:

If you or an immediate family member have served or plan to serve in the military, then look into military aid. Not only are you serving this nation (thanks by the way!) but you are getting your college paid for! Hurrah!!!


5. Personal Funding:

Last but definitely not least, you are the best source of funding college. Whether it is working during school, over the summer, or before you head off to college, you can pay a good chunk of your college this way.


So, no matter where you are, it is never to late to start putting the pieces together to pay for college. Don’t believe the lie that loans are the only way to pay for college. Sorry Sally Mae! Not today!

Launch Academy actually provides college and career services to all their members.  This includes a complimentary strengths assessment (which includes the follow-up consultation), financial aid resources, college admissions information, essay writing help, and more.

So here we go! Let’s get to work! For more information go to FASFA.gov and LaunchAcademyTulsa.com.


Up Academy President,

Nick Wagoner

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