Good ways to avoid debt without working include saving ahead for college and securing scholarships once you are there.
Utah has one of nation's most highly regarded 529 college saving plans. The Utah Educational Savings Plan has been lauded for its low overhead and good returns, and Utah residents enjoy tax credits for account contributions.
Resources abound for University of Utah students and they are getting more helpful. This year, the university launched a one-stop online clearinghouse on the myriad scholarships available.
It also started the Personal Money Management Center, (see http://www.asuupmmc.utah.edu/) funded by a $3-per-semester student fee and located in the student union.
To determine your appropriate level of debt, check out Finaid.org's calculator.
Of debt and degrees
U.S. student debt topped $1 trillion this year and surpassed the nation's consumer debt, triggering an outcry for relief and a stop to relentless tuition hikes. By working long hours, many Utah college students are avoiding this burden. But campus administrators say that may not be a good thing if students are taking longer to graduate. Read the main story here.