Ah, spring. The season where high school seniors commit to a university—and its price tag. Four years of experimentation, excitement and all-night study sessions may ultimately provide a financial nightmare to go along with the diploma.
Is there any way to escape that tuition bill? CNBC complied some out-of-the-box college-funding ideas.
The cost of college is about $42,000 annually for four-year private institutions, according to the College Board. There are state universities, community colleges and online programs to help lower the overall cost of higher education.
Then there's always financial aid, various grants and, of course, plenty of student loans to be had. In fact, Americans hold $1.3 trillion in outstanding student loan debt, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve's fourth-quarter 2014 data.
Not for you? Here are some alternatives to that student loan burden. But be warned: Some of these ideas are extreme. Do not try them at home—at least, not without a sense of humor (mixed with fear about just how high your student loan debt burden could be in the future.)
—By Roy Luo and CNBC staff
Updated 21 April 2015