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How to Get a College Degree Debt-Free

State school: Most state universities give large discounts to students who live in the state. Even if the college's reputation isn't as strong as some others in the area, the savings can often still make it a better value, especially since most of what you get out of college is directly proportional to the effort you put in.

Live at home: The focus for saving money is often on tuition, but room and board will also cost a lot of money. This is another reason that going to a community college for the first two years can save a tremendous amount of money. While you will need to work out an arrangement with your parents that will work for all of you, this is a great way for them to help out if they can't offer financial assistance toward tuition.

Let work pick up the tab: Many employers pick up the tab for their employees' college tuition if the classes are work-related. This method is more often used with graduate or advanced courses.

Work hard: Effort equals results. You have the ability to determine how many credits you are going to take each semester, and the harder the workload, the less cost to you. If you can get your degree a year early, or even a semester early, you will save thousands of dollars. You don't have to be especially smart to take a large class load, but you do need to know how to manage your time well and work hard to achieve it.

Jeffrey Strain has been a freelance personal finance writer for the past 10 years helping people save money and get their finances in order. He currently owns and runs SavingAdvice.com.
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