The Unconventional Way on Going to College Debt Free

I completed high school in 2014, and I couldn’t escape the recurring tales of college graduates expressing regret over their degrees and the financial burdens they carried, a narrative that echoed even louder within my own family, particularly from my siblings. I’m sure similar sentiments have been echoing with other Millennials along with Gen Z.

Community College

While jumping from temp, seasonal, and full-time positions I went to community college to allow me to make monthly payments while saving money in the process. I liked the fact that community college was cheaper and offered better learning. Quite frankly, looking back I learned more in community college then I did in any university class.

While at community college, I couldn’t enroll into classes unless I either paid the tuition in full or made a payment plan. I always went with the payment plan because it allowed me to save money without taking out any loans. It also gave the flexibility to know my monthly payments in advanced without any additional fees or surprises.


I found university prices for the quality of education a huge disappointment that many other graduates felt the same way. However, when enrolling in classes the semester prices were always $5,000+ along with their added fees that they failed to tell you how and where to take advantage of them. But I was still looking for ways to hack the financial side of paying for my semester without taking any loans. After speaking with a financial advisor about how paying for semesters worked, I found a way that I could take full advantage of. This is something they will not teach you in college, as they rely on you to pay for ridiculous fees and loans.

Disclaimer: Some universities may not have this process in place, so do this at your own risk.

I would enroll into my classes for the semester and not pay a single cent until the end of the semester. This allowed me to save up to do a lump sum payment without risking any fees. My financial advisor mentioned I would get a late fee for doing this, but I never saw one posted to my invoice. This allowed me to enroll into the next semesters classes without falling behind in my university degree progress.

I should also mention, some universities have a max balance that can be on the account while you enroll in your next semester classes. Always speak with your financial advisor about what that balance is.

Keep in mind I did work part-time and full-time throughout my college journey and had to sacrifice some early pleasures in life in order to get my degree debt free. I was pretty frugal and barely spent any money throughout, unless I really had to.