By Victor Ochieng
The current average student loan debt per borrower rests at around $30,000. Millions of students graduate from college with a baggage – having huge student loans to clear. The kind of pressure and disorientation that comes with these debts scares many students so badly that they only take the loans because they don’t have any alternative. Some even decide to work part-time to pay for their school fees so as to completely avoid student loans.
In a recent Facebook live interview with Kevin Y. Brown, author of “10 Ways Anyone Can Graduate From College Debt Free” and founder of Debt-Free College Academy, an online-based course and website, he shared ideas on how one can go through college from year one to graduation without accruing any student debts.
Brown, who grew in a foster home to later graduate debt free from a $140,000 college, has quite an inspiring story. “I grew up in foster care from the age of nine months,” he said. He would no exposure to financial management concepts, but he would manage to later put things together and graduate after five years in college without any student loan debt.
During the interview, Brown pointed out the gravity of ignorance among his peers. Even though he knew nothing much either, his determination to graduate debt free saw him do all within his means to avoid student loans; and he did it.
Some of the strategies he shared include delivering stellar high school performance, making personal sacrifices, building relationships, taking advantage of scholarships and ensuring you submit your FAFSA early enough. Of great importance, he says, is ensuring you stay away from any other form of debts, such as credit card debts.
Brown’s points are quite direct. For example, performing well in high school opens many doors for scholarships, financial support, and grants. If you’re from a humble background and you work hard to register amazing performance at the high school level, you’re likely to win full or substantial partial scholarship for your college education.
One of the key things towards achieving loan free graduation is by having a well written out plan before entering college, outlining how you’re going to get to your goal. It never ends with the plan; you must ensure that you implement the plan, which will definitely include making some personal sacrifices. And in some cases, you may even have to do some part-time jobs to supplement your funds.
By Victor Ochieng