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I was discussing with my parents the other day about people who graduate debt free, and whilst I don't think I would be able to achieve this I would like to graduate with minimal debt. I've got two years to plan this now before I arrive at university, so I've got the chance to earn some money before I go.

In terms of what I would have to fund, to graduate entirely debt free would cost me around £30,000 in the UK.

The issue is how should I look at doing this. I will recieve some support from my parents financially, but I will have to raise a majority of the money my self.

In terms of background information, I am currently working part time on a fairly low wage, and should have around £4000-£5000 saved up by the time I go to university, a far cry from what I need! Skills wise however, I am a strong audio typist, and I believe there is some demand for this freelance and it typically pays well above the wage that I am earning now.

Should I move into self-employment, despite the economy the way it is currently? I am not relying on the income I am earning now, but I will need it in two years time therefore I can't sacrifice it altogether. This could potentially increase my earnings and allow me to save more.

The other benefit of going freelance as an audio transcriptionist is that I would have the chance, hopefully some point before or at university, to take on additional typists and earn income from the work they do. This would possibly allow me to move to just doing business development work which is likely to generate much more profit.

Does it sound like a wise move, and should I be worried about being taken seriously in a market that largely targets at professionals when I am so young? Also, is undercutting of prices by offshore providers something I should be worrying about, simply having seen some examples of offshore companies sales copy, which contained a myriad of typing errors, I believe I could offer superior quality easily. Also, I feel that I could cut costs for companies, given that they are making lay-offs, often of administrative staff, but there is still work to do.

Apologies for the long post, and thank you in advance for any advice.
 

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Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
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Noting your location, I'm not sure if such options are available to you but, (back in the day!) I managed to graduate from college debt free by paying for my undergraduate years through an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship. The payback was I was committed to a specified term of active duty service, upon graduation and commissioning. Not a bad deal really...your education gets paid for and a guaranteed job is waiting when you get your degree. The military service also paid for my masters degree and for close to half the course work requirements in a PhD program. The PhD would have been fully paid but, I got lazy and took a term off...never went back! :eek:

It might be worth your while to check on the availability of such programs in your locality. Good luck!
 

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I think there are a number of scholarship type programs in England for persons who will commit to a 3-5 year period of service as an officer in the British armed forces after graduation. This is similar to what Eagle is saying that he did in the U.S.

I took a different approach and spent four years in the U.S. Navy prior to going to college. In the U.S. we have a G.I. Bill that pays a monthly stipend while you are attending college if you served in the Armed Forces and participated in the program. I don't know if the British armed forces have a similar program, but it's worth checking out. The G.I. Bill allowed me to graduate debt free.

Cruiser
 
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