Do you need a student loan in order to go to college?
The short answer: NO!
Today, more and more college graduates find themselves in so much student loan debt that it's extremely overwhelming. Think about it for a minute: you go to school for four years, rack up $40-$60K in student loan debt . . . all for a $35K/year job. How ridiculous!
I'm not being hypocritical. I have a pile of student loan debt I'm working on paying down too. The financial aid office made it so easy for me to take as much money as I could, not even once telling me that I had to pay it all back.
And don't even think about filing for bankruptcy, in order to erase your student loan debt. This type of debt doesn't qualify to be forgiven due to bankruptcy.
What I suggest is, if your parents aren't able to pay for college, save as much as you can ahead of time and, even while going to school, do that little four-letter word called . . . WORK!