student loan debt

Harvard, Yale, Stanford: Are They Truly Worth The Cost?

If college is the new high school diploma, would it be worth studying at Harvard, Yale, or Stanford? 


College Tuition Is Now Free In The United States

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How To Get A College Degree Without Student Loans

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The 5 Things You Thought You Knew About College

For decades, we have formed and subscribed to beliefs about the factors needed to be successful. Many people have and still believe that a definite route to success is through college. There are several misconceptions about college; some of them known, and others yet to be discovered. Here are the five most common misconceptions that we have about college.


1. You Can Get a Bachelor’s Degree in 4 Years

The New York Times wrote an article a few months ago discussing how more college freshmen are reporting cases of depression. This trend does not surprise me when these freshmen have to live with the possibility of getting their bachelor’s degree in six years instead of four.

Some college students are taking longer to graduate because they lose interest in their initial major and feel the need to change it.

It is better for a student to start by taking general education courses during their first two years. At that point, they may have a better idea of choosing a major for their final two years.

Another option for one to consider is taking a gap year. Usually, the best times for gap years are before college or after your sophomore year. Students typically use their gap year to dedicate to volunteering, studying abroad, or teaching English as a foreign language.

2. College Is The Ideal Networking Environment

This idea is a half truth. Small colleges are harder to make many connections, due to the size of the school. The truth is present when referring to big universities. Since the size of the school is much larger, it is much easier for someone to be more selective about their networking prospects.

Ivy League institutions are probably the best targets to make quality connections. Successful celebrities in business and entertainment often send their children to those types of schools, which presents excellent networking opportunities for those who lack recognition in their field.  

As a form of general advice, introverts will do well networking as a student of a small college since they tend to value quality over quantity. Extroverts will do well networking at a big university since they tend to value quantity over quality.

Did I forget something? Yes! What about the ambiverts? Well, it goes back to my point that college being an ideal networking environment is simply a half-truth. It will differ for everybody.

3. Most Colleges Offer a Good Student-Teacher Ratio

Overcrowded classes can make it impossible for students to take the necessary courses to graduate on time (even one unavailable prerequisite can cost a student an entire year).

The University of California, California State University, and California’s community colleges had been notorious for this problem, which eventually required them to shrink enrollments. Miami-Dade College almost lost their accreditation because of their overwhelming amount of overcrowded classes. These examples are a few of the many nationwide occurrences regarding overcrowding.

If a student has to spend 20-30% more time in college to complete their degree, it is likely that they may either drop out or transfer to another school that can promise them a punctual graduation.

Some schools like Pace University, University of Buffalo, and Juniata College are enticing students with 4-year guarantees or else, the extra tuition will be free. 

- You can read the rest of my article at The Good Men Project.



10 Creative Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loan Debt

For decades, people have been told to go to college because doing so would give them the best shot at a great career. Some college graduates are not as fortunate. Subsequently, they are forced to take jobs that don’t even require a college degree. We all know that those jobs make paying student loans very difficult! Well, fear not, you will find a solution in these 10 creative ways to pay off your student loan debt.

1. Income Based Repayment Plans

While this option has been becoming increasingly popular over the last few years, some college graduates and dropouts still don’t know about income based repayment plans. The Department of Education created these programs to help people manage their student loan debt by reducing their monthly payments.

Monthly payments are determined by your annual income of the previous year. For some people, their monthly payment could be $20 or even $5 dollars a month.

Others may not be required to pay anything. If they have an income that is at or below the poverty line, their monthly payments will be marked as paid (even though they are not paying anything). Depending on your repayment plan, the remainder of your loan can be forgiven within 20 or 25 years.

Program participants are required to submit their annual income every year for the purpose of recalculating the monthly payment and continuity.

The Wall Street Journal has found that only 40% of people with student loans are paying them back. A lot of people think that they are hopeless and tend to let their loans go into default. The income based repayment plan is a great way for people to manage their student loans more responsibly.

2. Kansas Rural Opportunity Zones

The state of Kansas is working hard to discourage population decline. The Rural Opportunity Zone program encourages Americans to move to rural Kansas to experience the lower cost of living and high quality of life. The zones are made up of 77 counties that have been authorized to offer student loan payments.

In order to be eligible for the income tax waivers, individuals must meet the following requirements:

– Have a college degree (either undergraduate or postgraduate)
– Have an outstanding student loan balance
– Have established residency in a rural opportunity zone after July 1, 2011 and on or after the date on which the county opts in the student loan program

Despite living in uncertain times, Americans are still hopeful in fulfilling the American Dream. Kansas has enabled Americans to realize their dream by not only offering free land but also student loan assistance. Some people have been a victim of misfortune. The state of Kansas is giving them a second chance.

3. Move to Niagara Falls Program

The city of Niagara Falls, New York has experienced a significant population decline, due mostly to the relocation of several industrial corporations. While it remains a tourist attraction for Americans and Canadians, the city is looking for other ways to boost their economy to avoid losing their “city” status.

They are hoping that by enticing people to move there; it will bring in talent that will positively influence the labor force, which could keep them there longer than the two year requirement.

New residents who live there for two years will get a total of $7,000 to pay off their student loans. In order to qualify for the reimbursement, the applicant must have attained a two or four year degree from an accredited school and rent a home or apartment in a designated area.

This program presents a great opportunity for people who don’t have a lot of student loan debt and any major life commitments.

You can read the rest of this article here.