The cost to attend college continues to climb at schools around the nation. And as it goes higher, so does the amount of the nation's student loan debt.
For high school seniors awaiting acceptance letters, or grown ups pondering a career change that requires further education, tuition costs can be a major factor in deciding where to go to school.
With Americans carrying more than one trillion dollars in student loan debt, BankRate.com looked at some of the lesser-known ways to cut college costs, starting with state tuition aid. In addition to federal aid programs, states hand out billions in aid each year to qualified students.
Another route to consider: loan forgiveness for in-demand professions like teachers, health care and legal defense -- either through federal or state programs.
Bank Rate also says college-goers should be aware of the Academic Common Market. It's a cooperative between 14 southern states, Delaware and Maryland that allows students to pay in-state tuition rates outside of their home state, if their field of study isn't offered at a public university in the state where they live.
And if multiple siblings are headed to the same college at the same time -- contact the school's financial aid office to inquire about a family discount.