Student: Ms. Jennifer, I’ve been accepted to my dream school and other universities. One of the other universities has offered me a full ride; it will pay for my tuition, fees, housing, and food. My dream school offered a scholarship that will cover 25% of my expenses. I’m torn. I’ve had my heart set on my dream school since middle school. What school should I choose?
Ms. Jennifer: Does the full ride university offer your major? Does it offer opportunities for you to launch your career?
Student: Yes, the school offers two majors that interest me. And, they have a really good record of placing students in summer internships.
Ms. Jennifer: My job is to make sure that you have choices, and thanks to your competitive test scores, outstanding essays, and persistence, you have choices. I can’t choose for you. But, it is my job to tell you what paying for your dream school will cost you. If you take the full ride, you’ll be free of student loan debt. If you take the full ride, you’ll have the financial flexibility to chase your dreams. I graduated from college with very little ($1,000) in student loan debt. My college education and lack of student loan payments have allowed me to escape jobs that I did not like, leave expired relationships, build a business, and purchase a home.
Instead of thinking about a dream school, think about a dream life.
What kind of life do you want 5, 10, and 20 years from now?
Aside from if and whom you choose to marry, this is the most important decision that you will make.
If you pay for your dream school, most likely you’ll need to borrow.
Here’s what you should know about student loans.
- Wage garnishment
- Reduced or eliminated income tax refunds
- Reduced Social Security benefits
- Unemployment: Your alma mater may refuse to submit your academic transcript to a potential employer.
- Higher costs of borrowing: You may pay more for a car or a house because your monthly student loan obligation increases your inability to pay your bills on time.
- Inability to purchase a house
- Feelings of hopelessness: 9 Students Reveal Their Unbelievable Loan Horror Stories>>>