You can no longer work through college. It cannot be done.
I am a twenty-eight year old, non traditional undergrad. at the cheap state school in Springfield, MO.(I am paying for early mistakes). I work two jobs. One is at a restaurant for the money, the other is working as an English Tutor on campus so I have something on my resume. I work 30 hours a week, Tutor 7 and have 15 hours of class.
My total bill last year for the spring and fall semesters was over 7,000 dollars. I only made, at the restaurant, 16,000 and some. (Tutoring pays minimum wage). That is almost half of my yearly salary. Could you put half of your yearly salary towards tuition? And this is a cheap state school.
I only receive one federally grant from the government for 1300 dollars, divided out over two semesters. The State says I earn too much for a state grant.
I also did a few years at the cheap cheap Tech. School down here. (the math and speech classes among others.)
My wife graduated over a year ago and now works for the state in Child Social Services (Springfield is the number one city for child abuse and neglect in MO.) Her position requires a Degree, but hardly pays enough to meet the student loan repayment - (she has some out of state loans) - near 300 a month.
And to all you saying stop taking loans you don't need, you are aware that the majority of people taking out these loans are just at 18. Would a bank give a house loan to an 18 year old that doesn't have a job? No, they wouldn't. Can a 18 year old get a car loan without a job? No. But we happily give them tens of thousands of dollars for a promise they might get a well paying (HA) job one day.
I don't know what the answer is. I love Community colleges and tell everyone to go to a community college first. But the cost of Tuition is insane and goes up every year and it is bankrupting my generation. My wife and I could have bought a new car by now without the mountain of student loans.