Student Loan Debt

Debt Free College Grad with Shanice Miller

Updated on March 21, 2020 Updated on March 21, 2020
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Shanice Miller: Debt-Free College Graduate
Table of Contents  
  1. Show Notes

Despite the dire warnings, it is possible to graduate college free of debt.  Shanice Miller will tell us how to do it.

Most people go the route of taking out massive student loans to pay for college but it’s possible to get all or at least some of your expenses covered through scholarships and grants.  You don’t need a perfect GPA either.  There is money available for everyone if you know where to look.

The best time to start looking around is your junior year of high school and the best place to look is with your guidance and career counselor.  Start early, the beginning of the school year is ideal because it allows you to make a strong application before the deadlines which are usually in late winter or early spring.

The application process can be ponderous but you can use the same application or essay for multiple opportunities, just customizing each as you would with a job resume.  The average award for a scholarship is $2000.  So if you take three hours to apply, that is great value for time.

Big, national scholarships that are open to everyone are harder to get and require a lot more work.  The smaller ones local to your area will put you up against less competition.  Your high school’s website may provide information for the smaller, less competitive scholarships.

When you find a good scholarship, it's like someone dropped gold on your lap.

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Graduating high school doesn’t mean the end of the road for scholarships.  You can continue to apply in college, grad school, and professional school.  You can also re-new some scholarships that were previously rewarded.  They already know your worth and the process will be easier.

Shanice’s biggest piece of advice is not to get hooked on your dream school.  The bucolic, tree lined campus on the front of the brochure will be a distant memory if you’re living with your parents after graduating because you’re mired in debt.

Remember, college is a business decision.  Part of that decision should be how much free money you can get to pay for it all.

Show Notes

Space Walker American Belgo:  A bold beer with spicy, fruity flavors.

Debt Free College Graduate:  Shanice helps you how to graduate debt free.

Betterment:  Start investing today.

Candice Elliott - Senior Editor
Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.

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