Make sure you look into all forms of financial aid to help pay for your education. Accept grants, scholarships, and work-study options before accepting student loans.

One way to keep your money in check after graduation is to only borrow what you need. Also consider making interest payments throughout college or during your grace period to help reduce the amount of interest you’ll end up paying in the long run.

Once you’ve determined your future earning potential, consider the 8 percent rule. If you decide to take out student loans, most financial advisors recommend that your monthly student loan payments should NOT exceed 8 percent of your total monthly gross income after you have graduated.

If you are offered more in loans than you need, return what you don’t need back to the financial aid office at your school.