So, new incoming freshmen mostly go in with little or no credit at all. Many lenders won't deal with that sort. No, they want a co-signer with a credit rating to go along. Smart on their part, possible and probably catastrophe for you. It's their way of holding a loved one hostage in the event of A: You run away/can't pay or B: You die, they will hammer your loved one for the debt you owed.
You risk your parent or loved one's credit, sanity and life when you get them to co-sign.
To get them to co-sign for a rental agreement or car is one thing...
But don't ever trick them into co-signing with Sallie Mae.
And if that expensive school tells you you won't go to their school without a co-signer...
Find a different school.
And don't necessarily buy the hype that an expensive private school is any better than a state university or community college.
You can be in a private classroom with 20 students and still take the risk of retaining the same fragmented knowledge you would in an auditorium filled with over 100 students. As I said, all colleges use the same text books, if doesn't matter where you learn your subject, it's how you take in personally.
Creative fields like art, writing, music, film?
Don't always believe an art or cooking school will make you the best cook. The best drawing and painting comes from you. The best dish you ever make, comes from you. The best story, comes from you. Those lyrics or notes in your head, from you. That movie you want to make, again, you. NO professor can ever just give you ideas. The creativity comes from YOU!
Dream about being the next George Lucas or Stephen King? Read into their lives and look at where they've been to where they are now.
Technical or trade schools?
And don't rule out technical or trade school. After all, college and universities aren't for everyone. There's no shame in being a mechanic...people need mechanics...or any other trade...plumbers, electricians, repairmen. Simple jobs and simple lives? Yes...but at least it pays the bills, puts food on the table and they play a vital role in day to day life.
If one follows down that path, plays it safe, doesn't blow money on needless things and keeps a CLEAN CREDIT RATING...college or university could still be an option later in life and chances are, you could pay for your own schooling.
And if not for yourself...your children. You definitely don't want your children committing Sallie Mae Suicide. Nor do you want them to guilt you into co-signing those loans.
The old job and the old hometown?
If you have a job now in high school, like the super market or drug store and you find yourself still there in 5 years. THERE IS NO SHAME.
So what if others say "Oh, he/she is still working the same job." You're still working and could make it up the ladder and be manager.
I've known two friends who remained with their old jobs they had in high school rather than college or technical school...over seven years later, both own their own homes, drive nice cars and don't have to ever worry about student loan debts.
To those two friends stayed in my old hometown and live a life I can only dream of. Another friend of mine went to college an hour away from the town and had no real problem with it. He graduated with his BA, has a career but still lives there.
I know as a teen, the attitude towards a hometown was "I HATE THIS PLACE."
But here's the thing...many kids hate their hometowns or cities.
I was dreaming of winter nights in Boston just as a Boston kid was dreaming about the sunsets on the beach.
The point is, just really ask yourself if your hometown is so terrible. I bring that up because I signed that Sallie Mae promissory note believing I'd never come back to it.
Escape is not a good reason to commit Sallie Mae Suicide.
Life after high school?
Obviously, don't take a student loan blindly. If you need to take a year off, take a year off...work, travel, talk to people in the fields that you're interested...keep in mind, the future is always changing, and that means there are jobs that don't exist today...that will tomorrow...keep your options open for that...just find yourself.
If you're ready for college, then go. Get scholarships, get grants and go.
Go to a trade school and learn a useful trade.
Just don't sit there, do something stupid like drink beer after beer or smoke joint after joint, day in and day out. You do nothing. You get nothing.
Just do something. Find yourself. Find your purpose. Find your role in this world. And find it without ever using Sallie Mae!