Student Debt Is Not Only The Answer

Welcome to this post on “Student Debt Is Not Only The Answer!”

‘Everyone has student loan debt. You can’t go to college without it.’


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard something along those lines. Don’t buy the lie. Student debt will hurt your future. Even notable fixtures of public life like Barack Obama have struggled to get free from the shackles of debt. In a 2013 speech, the former president discussed how he and his wife Michelle graduated college with “a mountain of debt”. Many of us desire to make good money. Perhaps you even tell yourself that by getting a high-paying job, you will be able to pay off your debt quickly. 

“Even though we both got good jobs, we barely finished paying it (the loans) off before I was elected to the US Senate,” Barack said. This would have been a few years into his forties. Despite being a high-ranking politician, it took Barack over two decades to clear his debt. The Obamas make more a year than most of us do in a decade, even in a lifetime, and they struggled with debt. Let that sink in. Why would it be different for you? 

Student Loan Repayment Options | Commerce Bank

Americans owe over a mind-boggling $1.71 trillion in student debt spread out over 44.7 million borrowers. I’m no calculus major, but that’s a bucketload of debt per person. More than three million senior citizens are still paying off their student loans, so I’d let go of the convictions you have that say you will pay your loans off immediately after school. 

Student debt is a serious issue in our country, and it will affect you too if you let it. If you aren’t the next Mark Zuckerburg who will obtain instant rich status, this problem will affect your confidence, family and/or ability to have a family, and your career mobility, among plenty of other things. This is not to mention that your budget will also be tighter. Debt will be affecting where you live and play. If you already have student debt, it is not over for you. I would highly recommend getting on a budget and formulating a battle plan to get this burden off your back. By reading this article you are demonstrating that you have the maturity to consider the next steps that you need to take. Great job!

For those who aren’t already swamped in student loans, I’m going to outline some of the resources and opportunities out there to help you succeed in the form of scholarships. I don’t have all the answers, so dig in and listen to many perspectives, but I’m here to help.

why you should apply for scholarships for college

Scholarships, scholarships, scholarships! This is huge! Look I get it; you are likely a very busy person. Welcome to the times we live in. But even despite the extracurriculars, school work, job, and family obligations many of us experience as roadblocks in our schedules, you have the time to apply for educational grants if you manage your time well and make getting your education free of debt a priority. You are not going to get every scholarship you apply for. I know this first-hand. I’ve applied for around fifty scholarships in the past nine months and won just one. IT’S WORTH IT!

I know you might be thinking that it isn’t worth your time to apply when you aren’t guaranteed to win anything. I understand the thought process, but hear me out. If you win a scholarship(s), and you will if you stay in the game and grind, putting forth the effort to spend time, adapt, and work your butt off towards this, then when you plug in the hours you’ve spent applying for education funds it will be more than worth it. Using basic math, calculate your hourly salary based on the money you have made and the time you’ve spent working on scholarships. Depending on your winnings, you could be raking in a WHOLE lot more than that part-time gig at the mall. 

Asides from the financial benefits of scholarships, there are also the intangible benefits. Applying for scholarships and fighting to make your essay stand out in a pool of names will push you to write more concisely, compellingly, and convincingly. This will help prepare you greatly for college where you are required to write plenty of essays, essays, and more essays.

There are many fantastic resources that you can use to locate scholarships that you qualify for. Some of these include but are not limited to:

  • Niche
  • Cappex
  • Unigo
  • And plenty of others!

Question: Will you have days when you question why you didn’t just take the easy road (in the moment) and register for a loan?

Answers: Yes! You are going to have doubts, and moments where you want to give up, but trust the process! Sure, some people might judge you for spending your time taking this huge leap forward in achieving financial freedom, but don’t let that hold you back. That’s their loss, not yours. They will wish they had followed in your footsteps later on. 

Thanks for reading! Best of luck to you on this journey of yours! If you are, like me, passionate about staying free from debt throughout your college experience, I highly recommend you read Anthony O’Neal’s book Debt-Free Degree:

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Disclaimer: We are not experts or certified financial advisers. Our advice for you based on what has worked and continues to work for us. If financial problems occur we are not responsible for them and advise that you speak to a professional. That being said, we believe wholeheartedly that the advice we give to you will help your financial situation greatly.

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