There seem to be three main ways of paying:
1) Your parents save up money to send you to school.
2) You save up money to go to school.
3) You get fin aid throughout school, and then pay back the loans afterwards. This option might be in combination with the above options.
I'm doing option #3. It's not because my parents lacked the foresight to save for my college tuition, though. It's because they made the decision to spend the money they might have otherwise saved for my college education on my education throughout my grade school years.
While it's true that it would be nice to have money that had been saved up over time to pay for my tuition, I'm glad that they made this decision. And because I seem to be in a list making mood recently, I'll list the various things that I was able to do because they didn't save the money for my college education.
1) Dance lessons -- Some flamenco (fun!), Irish step dance (my favorite!!! I stuck with this for a while, stopped because the teacher was let go at the dance school I attended, but I plan to pick it up again someday), some ballet (I prefer watching it to doing it), some tap (I'm not too enthused about that), some Highland dancing (that was fun), and one or two other forms of dance.
2) Singing lessons.
3) Singing in various choirs. Not all at the same time though! :)
4) Competing in a highly competitive chorus. Quite a learning experience, that was. And FUN. I plan to return to that when time and money allows.
5) Girl Scout activities -- Earning badges, camping, doing outdoor stuff, arts and crafts, being a Program Aid to help with younger Girl Scouts when I got older...and learning cool stuff about everything I did!
6) Random other opportunities to learn that required money.
7) Oh how could I forget! Piano. :)
All things considered, I'm glad that my parents spent their money on my education throughout my grade school years rather than saving it. Look at everything I would have missed otherwise. The downside to their decision is that I have to do paperwork to get fin aid for college. :( That isn't fun...but oh well. lol