Tens of millions of Americans are struggling with student loan debt. In fact, student loans have surpassed credit card debt and has twice the delinquency rate. Due to most of them being subsidized through the government, student loans are one of the easiest loans to get approved for. This is a good thing, but it can quickly turn into an expensive burden. So what is the solution? Maybe avoid higher education all together. Considering how hard it is to find a decent paying job, this is probably not the best solution. The best way to treat a disease, is to avoid it all together. The best way to avoid student loan debt is to keep them at a minimum. With a little research, you can avoid thousands of dollars in debt.
Figure out what you want to do first. Many kids right of high school are sold on the big business of education. Narrowing down what you want to do will save you money. Choosing the right school can make a big difference. Unless you are going to some fancy Ivy League school or one that is at least reputable to employers, stay within your state of residency. Out of state costs are far more expensive than staying in your own state. Really consider going to your local community college. The least expensive option is to stay local. This is important considering that the first two years of college is mostly general education. Besides, the degree is given by the school you finish and not the one you start.
Military service or any option that pays for school is important to consider. With the GI bill you could get school paid for by joining the service. Keep in mind that being in the military doesn't necessarily translate into a job that puts you in harm's way. There are hundreds of jobs that don't include going off to battle. In fact, in many cases you can choose a job that will mirror the job you want once you graduate. Employers appreciate military service and your service could get you to the top of the list when applying for a job.
The most important thing to do, is really understand the choices that you are making. Make a decision that you are sure of. Avoid getting into debt for deciding a path that you no longer want. Don't fall in love with the idea of a higher education, fall in love with a career that makes you happy.