You aren't required to accept the loans that are offered. Every school has a process for declining them, so if you're not sure, contact the financial aid office and tell them you don't want to accept them. (You will, of course, have to find a way to pay the bill without them). Student loans aren't necessarily a bad thing. Statistically speaking, people with a degree earn far more than people who don't have one, so if taking loans is the only way you can afford to pay for your degree, then those loans can be regarded as an investment. It can be a very good investment if you borrow wisely. Spend some time crunching the numbers. Find out what salary you can expect for the occupation you are studying for. If you keep your loan payment to about 15% of that salary, then the debt should be something that you can handle. Of course, keeping your borrowing to a reasonable level means you may have to make some choices that are not ideal. You might want to consider choosing an occupation that pays more, or choosing a less expensive college, or choosing a local college and living at home instead of paying for a dorm. Try to keep your mind focused on the long term picture, not just the next 4 years. It might not be exactly what you want, but by doing your research, setting a budget, and making the hard choices, taking student loans can be a stepping stone to a bright future rather than an impossible burden.