Students can and should plan their college major and select their college based upon the type of career and lifestyle they would like after college graduation. Knowing their optimum career field and how the student would like to live can help narrow down choices to those options that allow the best life and career outcomes. For example, if the average pay for a chosen career is low a student should keep student loan debt low also. If the amount owed in student loans is high, monthly payments (even with the income sensitive repayment option) may make living independently difficult.
To limit debt, students should carefully consider the price tags attached to their college options. They should only choose more expensive colleges when those colleges also offer sufficient scholarship and grant funds that limit the amount they will need to borrow.
Students should be aware of estimated salary, working conditions and job outlook for their field. Where an average income is low, students can increase their eligibility for higher paying positions by adding a strategically chosen minor or graduate degree to increase their knowledge and skill. Internships and jobs held in college can also increase pay after graduation.
Another option is to go to college on a part time basis and work in the major field while in college. This option allows students to lower their semester tuition due to reduced course load and increase available cash to pay tuition by receiving paychecks while in college. This option also reduces the need to borrow large amounts because students who choose this option often live at home while working and going to college. Best of all, these students gain valuable work experience and contacts while enjoying the best of both worlds.