‘Debt-Free U’ Offers Degree in Saving on College Costs

By Kerry Hannon Special for USA TODAY

Imagine you’re a 21-year-old college senior with no student loans, a stock portfolio — and a job. Meet Zac Bissonnette, author of Debt-Free U: How I Paid For an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching Off My Parents.

There aren’t a lot of students like him out there. After graduation, today’s college students owe, on average, more than $23,000.

There also aren’t many parents who haven’t signed up for a load of debt at the risk of draining their retirement savings and depleting home-equity accounts to make sure their kids get a college education.

His parents didn’t even try. They weren’t in a financial position to consider taking out loans for their son’s education.

Bissonnette, a personal finance writer and editor with AOL Money & Finance, has money smarts. That allowed him to have enough money saved to pay his own freight, but his aim here is to show others how they can do it, too.